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Printed at the Edinburgh University Press 
By T. and A. Constable, 














Edited for The Clan Fergus(s)on Society by 






All rights reserved 



In June 1894 the Council of the Clan rergus(s)on Society 
approved of a proposal that a book of Records of the Clan 
and Name of Fergusson or Ferguson should be published, 
and appointed the present editors as a sub-committee to 
compile, edit, and arrange for the publication of the proposed 

This book is now issued as the result of that resolution, 
and the editors have to express their acknowledgments to 
many Fergussons and Fergusons, and also to others connected 
with the name, who have placed much interesting material 
at their disposal. As originally contemplated, the publica- 
tion did not propose to supply a full and detailed history of 
the various families of the name, but rather to place on 
record materials yet preserved in the recollection of indivi- 
duals, or in Mss., which might otherwise disappear ; to collect 
scattered notices of the name, and to give a general view of 
the fortunes of the Clan in different districts of Scotland and 
elsewhere. The scheme of the work has, of course, rendered 
it impossible to give the full details of an exhaustive family 
history in any case, but the courteous and cordial aid which 
the editors have received from the representatives of practi- 
cally every family whose charter-chests and family papers 
seemed likely to afford material of interest, and the informa- 
tion contributed in response to circulars that were widely 
issued to members of the Clan, have enabled those charged 


with its preparation, to make the volume more complete and 
comprehensive than they had ventured to anticipate. They 
are especially pleased to state, that in many cases the notices 
of various families have been actually written for the book by 
their own representatives ; and in others, the narratives have 
been prepared from papers in possession of the present repre- 
sentatives, and after personal communication with them. In 
particular, the memoirs of the family to which Professor 
Adam Ferguson belonged have been written by Mr. Robert 
N. R. Ferguson, the Treasury, London; the notice of the 
Raith family was communicated by Mr. R. C. Munro-Fergu- 
son, M.P., and, indeed, written for this volume by Lady Helen 
Munro-Ferguson ; that of the Spitalhaugh family was simi- 
larly ^\Titten by Sir James Ranken Fergusson ; that of the 
Cumberland Fergusons by Mr. Richard S. Ferguson, Chan- 
cellor of the diocese of Carlisle ; the memoir of Sir Samuel 
Ferguson by his widow, Lady Ferguson ; and the sketch of 
his family by his niece. Miss D. M. A. Paterson. The chapter 
on the name in Balquhidder, it should also be stated, was 
prepared by Mr. R. Menzies Fergusson of the Balquhidder 
stock, and that on the Aberdeenshire Fergusons by Mr. James 
Ferguson, Kinmundy, though the notices of James Ferguson, 
the astronomer, and Robert Fergusson, the poet, were under- 
taken by the former, and the thanks of the editors are due 
to Professor Duff, who contributed the account of his rela- 
tives, the descendants of the minister of Glengairn. The 
Athole chapter (other than Mr. R. K R. Ferguson's contri- 
butions), was mainly prepared from the papers placed at the 
disposal of the editors by the Dunfallandy and other famiHes, 
as was the account of the Craigdarroch family in the Dum- 
friesshire chapter, from the Craigdarroch papers. The atten- 
tion of the editors was called to the account of the Kilkerran 
family, written by Lord Hermand, by Sir James Fergusson 
of Kilkerran. 


The editors gratefully record their thanks to 
Miss Fergusson of Dunfallandy ; 
Captain Cutlar-Fergusson of Craigdarroch ; 
Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart. ; 
William Ferguson of Kinmundy ; 
R. C. Munro-Ferguson of Raith, M.R ; 
Sir James Ranken Fergusson of Spitalhaugh, Bart. ; 
Lieut.-Colonel George Arthur Ferguson of Pitfour ; 
Mrs. Fergusson (of Middlehaugh) ; 
J. Grant-Fergusson of Baledmund ; 
Lady Ferguson, Dublin ; 
Richard S. Ferguson, Chancellor of Carlisle ; 
J. C. Colyer-Fergusson of Ightham Mote, Kent ; 
Captain Ferguson-Fawsitt of Walkington Hall ; 
J. E. Johnson-Ferguson of Wiston and Springkell ; 
R. N. R. Ferguson, the Treasury, London ; 
Robert Ferguson of Garryduff, Limerick ; 
John Mansfield Ferguson, London ; 
John Blackburn Fergusson, Doonholm, Ayr ; 
Rev. Donald Fergusson, Crieff; 
Rev. William Fergusson, Shannaburn ; 
The Very Rev. John Ferguson, Dean of Moray; 
Rev. John Ferguson, Aberdalgie ; 
Hugh Fergusson (Middlehaugh) ; 
Robert Fergusson, Aberdeen ; 
Henry Fergusson, Pitlochry ; 
Charles Fergusson, Muir-of-Ord ; 
Robert Fergusson, Stirling (since deceased) ; 
John Ferguson, the Hermitage, Duns ; 
George T. Ferguson, Maxwelton, Dumfries ; 
J. Fergusson, Cardiff; 
Donald Ferguson, Croydon, Surrey ; 
John Ferguson, Colombo, Ceylon ; 
R. M. Ferguson, LL.D., Ph.D., Edinburgh; 


James Haig Ferguson, M.D., Edinburgh ; 
J. Ferguson, National Bank, Edinburgh. 
And also to 

Sir Charles Dalrymple of New Hailes, Bart. ; 

J. Balfour Paul, Lyon King-of-Arms ; 

W. A. Lindsay, Windsor Herald ; 

Arthur Vicars, Ulster King-of-Arms ; 

Thomas Dickson, LL.D., Register House ; 

J. T. Clark, Keeper of the Advocates' Library ; 

Professor Donald Mackinnon, University of Edinburgh ; 

Miss Paterson, Dublin ; 

J. Stewart Robertson of Edradynate ; 

J. Maitland Thomson of The Whim ; 

Neil Robertson, Dunfallandy ; 

Charles Gibson, Craigdhu, Pitlochry ; 

Hugh Mitchell, Pitlochry ; 

Rev. Canon Bruce, Dunimarle ; 

D. P. Menzies, Glasgow ; 

C. B. Davidson, advocate, Aberdeen ; 

Andrew Davidson, advocate, Aberdeen ; 

Charles Ruxton, advocate, Aberdeen ; 

Alexander Forbes, Aberdeen ; 

Professor J. Wight Duff, Newcastle ; 

Walter Severn, London ; 

Messrs. Tods, Murray, and Jamieson, W.S. ; 

W. Percival Lindsay, W.S., Edinburgh ; 

George Bayley, W.S., Edinburgh ; 

Thomas Eraser, Dalbeattie ; 

C. Paterson, Moniaive ; 

Rev. Walter MacLeod, Edinburgh ; 

Rev. A. Meldrum, Logierait ; 

Rev. Andrew Keay, Edinburgh ; 

Major P. Chalmers, Blairgowrie ; 

Rev. John M'Lean, Grandtully ; 


for the information they have communicated, their responses 
to inquiries, and the contributions several of them have 


The editors have also to express their special acknowledg- 
ments for the assistance which has enabled them to provide 
a large number of illustrations. They have to thank Miss 
Fergusson of Dunfallandy and her relatives, Mr, and Mrs. 
Robertson, Mr. Fergusson of Baledmund, Mr. Robert N. R. 
Ferguson, Colonel Ferguson of Pitfour, Mr. Ferguson of Kin- 
mundy, Mr. Munro-Ferguson, M.P., of Raith, Captain Cutlar- 
Fergusson of Craigdarroch, Sir James R. Fergusson of Spital- 
haugh, and Mr. J. C. Colyer-Fergusson of Ightham Mote, 
for providing the materials and defraying the cost of the 
illustrations connected w^ith their respective families; Sir 
James R. Fergusson, Ex-Provost Ferguson, Govan, Mr. 
Alexander A. Fergusson, Glasgow, Mr. John Ferguson, The 
Range, Rockhampton, Queensland, and Mr. Malcolm Fergu- 
son, Callander, for special contributions towards the prepara- 
tion of the complete set of heraldic plates; and Lady Ferguson, 
Mrs. Fergusson of Middlehaugh, Mr. J. B. Fergusson, Doon- 
holm, the Misses Reidford, Mr. Andrew Wishart, W.S., the 
Misses Raeburn, and Messrs. J. Maxwell and Sons, Dumfries, 
for kindly placing pictures, engravings, and photographs at 
their disposal for reproduction. As to the illustrations, a 
word of explanation may be interesting. 

The frontispiece, Lieut-General Archibald Fergusson of 
Dunfallandy , is from a picture by Sir Henry Raeburn, 
hanging at Dunfallandy House. 


The illustrations accompanying the memoirs by Mr. R N. 
R. Ferguson are all from portraits in his possession. The 
full-page portrait of Professor Adam Ferguson is from Rae- 
burn's picture, and that on page 143 from one by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds. That of Mrs. Ferguson (p. 142) is from her pic- 
ture by David Martin; those of Sir Adam, and Admiral 
John M, Fergiison (pp. 173 and 181) are from their pictures 
by John Ballantyne. The authors of the portraits repro- 
duced on pages 161 and 167 are unknown. On page 177 is 
reproduced from the original, which was the property of Mr. 
R. N. R. Ferguson when the illustration was executed, but 
has since been acquired by the Scottish National Gallery, 
Sir David Wilkie's well-known group of the Ahhotsford 
family. It was painted in 1817, and exhibited at the Royal 
Academy in 1818, and in the collection of National Histori- 
cal Scottish Portraits in 1884, and is described by Lockhart 
in his Life of Scott. 

In the centre Sir Walter is seated on a bank ; on his left 
are Captain (afterwards Sir) Adam Ferguson, Mr. Walter 
Scott (afterwards Sir Waiter, Lieut. -Colonel of the 15th 
Hussars), and Mr. Charles Scott, and behind them is Tom 
Purdie. On the right, Lady Scott dressed as a cottage 
matron, with Miss Anne Scott, and in front of the picture is 
Miss Sophia, afterwards Mrs. Lockhart. Close by her is 
Sir Walter's famous deerhound, Maida. 

The representation of Lord Pitfour on page 249 is from 
a picture at Kinmundy, the author of which is unknown; 
that of his son, James Ferguson, M.P., from an engraving 
of Beechey's picture at Pitfour, and that of Colonel Patrick 
Ferguson from an engraving also at Pitfour. Another 
illustration of Colonel Patrick Ferguson, as an older man, 
was published in Two Scottish Soldiers (1888), reproduced 
from a waxen bust at Kinmundy. A story is told, that when 
Beechey was painting old Pitfour, he was greatly disappointed 


at finding it impossible to get the proper expression. One 
day, however, just as Ferguson was starting for his sitting, a 
Buchan farmer arrived from the north to see him. He 
took him with him, and more than the hour passed rapidly 
in discussing north-country news. When at last he rose, 
Beechey said, 'Be sure and bring your friend back with 
you. I Ve made more progress to-day than in all the other 

The illustrations of James Ferguson of Kinmundy, his 
wife and son, on pp. 268, 269, 271, are specially interesting 
because they are reproduced from pictures in Indian ink, 
done by James Ferguson, the Astronomer, and are thus in a 
double sense ' Fergusons.' 

Captain James Ferguson, R.JSf. (p. 285), is from an old 
painting belonging to the Misses Eeidford, formerly of Aber- 
deen, and at present in possession of their brother-in-law, 
Mr. Andrew Wishart, W.S. 

Robert Fergusson, the Poet (p. 295), is reproduced from 
Alexander Eunciman's portrait, at present in the Scottish 
National Portrait Gallery, but belonging to the Misses Eae- 

James Ferguson, the Astronomer (p. 300), is reproduced 
from an engraving apparently prepared for publication with 
his life or works. 

General Sir Ronald Ferguson of Raith (p. 316), is from a 
full-length portrait by Eaeburn, in possession of his descen- 

Robert Gutlar- Fergusson, M.P., of Craigdarroch (p. 403), 
is from a photograph of a picture in the possession of M. 
Eobert de For9ade, Paris, painted about 1830 by Eugene 
Brocas, a French artist. 

Isle Tower, on page 418, has been reproduced, by permis- 
sion of Messrs. J. Maxwell and Sons, Dumfries, from Niths- 
dale Illustrated. 



The Bibliography of the name illustrates with much force 
the varied spheres in which the energies of capable clansmen 
have found scope. The editors are aware that it must neces- 
sarily be imperfect, but it has been prepared after a careful 
examination of the catalogues of the leading libraries, and in 
several cases with the personal assistance of the authors. 





The name associated with King Fergus, 

The Mythical King Fergus, . 

The Historical King Fergus, . 

The Scottish Conquest, 

Distribution of the Name, 

The name Fergus among the Picts, 

The Clan Fergusa Gall, 

Fergus, Lord of Galloway, 

Fergus, Earl of Buchan, 

A Holy Man Fergus, 

St. Fergus, 

The Parish of St. Fergus, 

Fergus Brit, second Abbot of lona. 

Derivation of the Name, 

Antiquity of the Clan, 

Allusions to Traditional Origin, 

Eeferences by Gaelic Bards, . 

* The Hasty Clan,' 

The Fergusson Country in Athole, 

The MacAdie sept in Strathardle, 

The Genealogical ms. of 1450, 

The Clan Fergus Salach, 

Characteristics of the pure Scottish race, 

Large average of stature, 

The Clans, two divisions in each, 


Associations with King Eobert Bruce, 

Early evidence of Landholding, 
































The Esquire at Bothwell, ...... 

Connections of various individuals of different families with each other, 
Connection of the name with national events, 

„ „ various lines of life, 

Landowners of the name in 1873, 
References to such in Scottish Acts of Parliament, 
Fergusons who have sat in Parliament, 
Size of Clan as compared with others. 
The Tartan and Badge, 
Orthography of the name, 
Note on the name Fergus on the Sculptured Stones and in Ossianic 
Literature, ....... 






Section I. — General. 

The Fergusson Country, 

Fergussons under the Athole Family, 

Antiquity of the House of Dunfallandy, 

Duncan, son of Fergus, thirteenth century, . 

Balmacruchie, .... 

Charter of King John to Adam Fergusson of Cluny, 

' Thf uost ancient clan,' 

' Th^ ->iggest and strongest men,' 

Semus Mor and the black bull. 

The ' Bloody Stone ' of Dunfallandy, and its legend, 

The Heir of Dunfallandy and the Fairies, 

The Balmacruchie Fergussons, 

' Big Neill of the Trouts,' 

The Fergussons of Woodhill, . 

Tradition of Adam and Gillemichael, 

Tradition of Adie Biorrach the Bowman, 

Niall Mor and the wicked Lady Lindsay's Weird, 

' Baron Fergusson ' and the chief Cadets,. 





An ' Unruly Clan,' ....... 38 

.Alleged Execution for Gowrie Conspiracy, 


Campaign of Montrose, 


Campaign of Dundee, 


Illustrations of bygone social conditions, 


' The Fifteen,' 


' The Forty-five,' 


Summary of subsequent heads. 


Introductory Notices — 

1. Fergusson of Derculich and Dunfallandy, 



, Downy, . 



, Muling, 



, Middlehaugh, . 



, Baledmund, 



, Ballyoukan, 



, Bellichandy, 


8. , 

, Bellizulland, 



, Pitfourie, 



, Donavourd, 



, Inch, 



Cally, . 



, Balmacruchie, . 



, Easter Dalnabreck, 



, Crossbill, 



, Claggan, 


Extracts from Public Records, 1483-1674, 


„ „ Kentall of Perthshire, 1649-50 



„ „ Valuation „ 1835, 


Miscellaneous Notes, . 

- -.63 

Section II. 

Fergusson of Derculich and Dunfallandy, 

The Derculich Titles, ...... 

The Dunfallandy Papers, ..... 

Additional Note on the Family of General Archibald Fergusson, 
The Ballad of Dunfallandy, ..... 

Chapel at Dunfallandy, ..... 

The Sculptured Stone, ..... 





Sectiox III. 

Fergusson of Middlehaugh, . 
The Middlehaugh Pi<per8, 
Additional Notes, 
Chapel at I>alshiaD, 

Section IV. 

Fergusson of Baledmund, 

The Baledmund Papers, 

General, 1510-1711, 

Connected with Rising of 1715, 

General, 1721-81, . 

Connected with Rising of 1745, 

General, after 1756, 
Additional Notes, 
Note of Fencible Men, 1705 and 1706, 

Section V. 

Fergusson of Ballyoukan, 

The Ballyoukan Papers and Titles, 
Additional Notes, 

Section VI. 

Fergusson of Bellichandy and Balmacruchie or Woodhill, 
The Minister of Moulin's ms., . 
Additional Notes, .... 

The Minister's Letter, 1746, . 

Fergusson of Easter Dalnabreck, 

Section VII. 

Fergusson of Drumachoir, and Family of Rev. Adam Fergusson of 
Logierait, and Professor Adam Ferguson, 

Introductory Notice and Genealogy, .... 

Notice and Extracts from Minister of Logierait's MS., . 
Additional Notes, ...... 

Memoirs by R. N. Ferguson of — 

Professor Adam Ferguson, .... 

His brother, Robert Fergusson, .... 


















Kobert Ferguson (younger), 

Captain Joseph Ferguson, .... 

Sir Adam Ferguson and the family at Huntlyburn, 

Admiral John Macpherson Ferguson, 

Colonel James Ferguson, .... 

Abbotsford, Huntlyburn, Chiefswood, . 

Robert Ferguson, M.D., .... 

Letters from the Huntlyburn Family, . 





Section VIII. 
The M'Adi Fergussons — Mr. Robert Ferguson's Memorandum, 

Section IX. 
Note by Messrs. J. and Alexander Fergusson, 



Section X. 

ices of Ministers of the Name — 

Rev. Adam Fergusson, Moulin, 

. 210 

„ Adam Fergussone, Killin, 

. 210 

„ Adam Ferguson, Logierait, 

. 210 

„ Fergus Ferguson, Fortingall, 

. 211 

„ Samuel Fergusson, Fortingall, 

. 211 

„ Francis Fergusson, Rhynd, 

. 211 

„ John Ferguson, Perth, 

. 212 

„ John Ferguson, Monivaird, 

. 212 



King Robert Bruce in Balquhidder, .... 


'The ancient family of Ardandamh,' .... 


Fergussons of Carnlia, ..... 


Fergussons of Muirlaggan, ..... 


Note by Mr. Rqbert Fergusson, Stirling, 


Fergusson of Stronvar, . „ . 


' Rob a Mhinisteir,' . 





Rev. Finlay Fergusson, .... 

Thomas Fergusson in Strathyre, 

Notes from the Parish Register, 

Place-names and their Derivation, 

Extracts from Public Documents, 1480-1613, 

Old Pulpit Bible, ..... 

Register of Diocesan Synod of Dunblane, 

Rev. Alexander Ferguson, Logic, 

Rev. John Fergusson (of CraighoU), Port of Menteith, 

Notice of Mr. Malcolm Ferguson, Callander, 

Fergussons on Loch Earn side. 

Notice of Rev. Samuel Fergusson, Fortingall, 

Notice of Mr. Robert Fergusson, Stirling, . 

Fergussons in Argyllshire, .... 




Oeneral — 

Charter, 1364, 'EgonifilioFergusii,' . . . .238 

Family of Auchtererne, ...... 238 

Suggested descent of Robert Fergusson, the Poet, . . 238 

Rev. Adam Fergusson, Crathie, afterwards at Logierait, . 239 

Fergusson of Kirkhill — Aberdeen family, . . . 239 

James Ferguson, the Astronomer, .... 239 

Donald Ferguson, from Corgarff, ..... 239 

Fergusons of Badifurrow, Pitfour, Kinmundy, etc. — 

Ancient connection with Inverurie, .... 240 

Notes on the Kinmundy ms., ..... 240 

St. Polnar's Churchyard, Inverurie, .... 241 
The Old Church of Deer, . . . . .241 

The Greyfriars Vault, and Abbey of Deer, . . . 242 

The Kinmundy ms. (annotated) — 

Traditionary origin, ...... 243 

William Ferguson (I.) of Badifurrow, M.P., 1661, . 245 

Robert Ferguson, the Plotter, ..... 245 



Ferguson of Pitfour — 

William (11.) of Badifurrow, ..... 247 

James (III.) of Pitfour, . . . . . .247 

James (IV.) of Pitfour (Lord Pitfour), . . . .248 

James (V.) of Pitfour, M.P., . . . . .254 

Patrick, Lieut.-Col., . . . . . .259 

George, Governor of Tobago, ..... 260 

Daughters of Lord Pitfour, . . . . .261 

Admiral George Ferguson (VI.) of Pitfour, . . . 261 

Colonel George Arthur (VII.) of Pitfour, . . .261 

Captain Arthur George (VIII.) yr. of Pitfour, . . . 261 

Other children of Colonel George Arthur, . . . 262 

Ferguson of Kinmundy — 

James (II.) of Balmakelly, Major-General, . . . 263 

James (III.) of Kinmundy, ..... 265 

James (IV.) of Kinmundy, ..... 270 

James (V.) of Kinmundy, . . . . .271 

James (VI .) of Kinmundy, ..... 272 

James, yr. of Kinmundy, ..... 272 

William (VII.) of Kinmundy, . . . . .272 

James (VIII.) yr. of Kinmundy, .... 273 

James (IX.), ....... 273 

Thomas Ferguson (V.), W.S. (1786-1828), and his descendants, 273 

Other collaterals, ....... 274 

Notes from the Kinmundy Papers, .... 274 

George Ferguson (II.) and his descendants — 

William Ferguson (III.), ...... 278 

George Ferguson (IV.), ...... 278 

William Ferguson (V.), . . . . . .278 

Captain John Ferguson, E.N., ' the black captain,' . . 279 

Other descendants, ...... 281 

John Ferguson (II.) of Stonehouse, and his descendants — 

. William Ferguson (III.), . . . . .282 

Alexander Ferguson (IV.), . . . . .282 

Other descendants, ...... 282 

Walter Ferguson (11. ) and his descendants — 

James Ferguson (IIL), ...... 283 

Walter Ferguson (IV.) of Kinnaird, . . . .283 



Captain James Ferguson, R.N., . 

Other descendants, ...... 

John and Janet Ferguson (II.) and their descendants — 

John Ferguson (III.), ...... 

Alexander Ferguson (IV.), . . . . . 

Other descendants, ...... 

Family represented by Mr. George Ferguson and Rev. John Ferguson, 
Dean of Moray, ....... 

Descendants of Rev. John Fergusson, Minister of Glengairn, 
Robert Fergusson, the Poet, ...... 

James Ferguson, the Astronomer, ..... 

Notices of Ministers of the Name — 
Rev. Alexander Ferguson, Crathie, 
Rev. Adam Fergusson, Crathie (Logierait), 
Rev. John Fergusone, Glenmuick, 
Rev. John M'Gregor Fergusson, New Pitsligo, . 

Extracts from Public Records, 1364-1655, . 










General — 

Robert Fergusson, M.P. for Inverkeithing, 
Fergussons in Kirkcaldy, 
Family of Raith, .... 
Four generations in the Church, . 

Ferguson of Raith — 

Account of, ... , 

Extract of family pedigree, 

David Fergusson, the Reformer, and his family— 
Memoir of, ... . 

Descendants of, . 
Rev. David Fergusson, Strickmartin, 

Fergusson of Balbeuchlie, 
Fergusson of Ethie-Beaton, , . 








Extracts from Public Eecords, 1373-1699, 
Notices of Ministers of the Name — 

Rev. David Fergussone, Dunfermline, 
„ James Fergusson, Beatli, . 
„ David Fergusson, Strathmartin, 
„ Griffith Ferguson, Dunnichen, 
„ Donald Ferguson, Dunnichen, 
„ James Ferguson, Arbroath, 
„ David Fergussone, Farnell, 
„ David Fergusson (son), Farnell, 
„ Andrew Ferguson, Maryton, 
,, David Scott Fergusson, Strachan, 






General — 

The Family of Kilkerran, . . . . .334 

Leading Cadet Families, ...... 335 

Fergusson of Kilkerran — 

Account of, by Lord Hermand, from Play fair's Br. Fam. Ant, 337 
Notice of, from Paterson's History of Ayrshire Families^ . 343 

Supplementary extract from the Landed Gentry, . . 347 

Extracts from Public Records, 1466-1650, . . .351 

Fergusson of DaldufF — 

Notice of (Paterson's Hist.), ..... 356 
Extracts from Public Records, 1557-1653, . . . 356 

Fergusson of Auchinsoul — 

Notice of (Paterson's jffis^.), ..... 358 
Extracts from Public Records, 1593-1620, . . .359 

Fergusson of Threave — 

Extracts, 1580-1668, . . . . . .359 

Fergussons of Littleton, etc.— 

Note by Rev. William Fergusson, Shannaburn, . . . 361 

Fergusson of Letterpin — 

Extracts, 1601-1612, ...... 363 



Fergusson of Finnart — 

Notice of (Paterson's Hist.)^ 

Fergusson of Millenderdaill — 
Notice of (Paterson's Hist.), 
Extract, 1677, . . . . . 

Fergusson of the Craig — 

Notice of (Paterson's Hist), 

Fergusson of Castlehill — 

Extract, . . . . . 

Fergussons of Monkwood, Trochraigue, Crossbill, etc 
Monkwood, notice of (Paterson's Hist.)^ 
Trochraigue, notice of (Paterson's Hist.)^ 
Crosshill, notice of (Paterson's Hist), . 

William Fergusson, M.D., 

James Fergusson, his son, writer on Architecture, 

Rev. James Fergusson, Kilwinning, . 

John Ferguson of Cairnbrock, 

Fergushill Family, .... 

General Extracts from Public Records, 1489-1698, 
Notices of Ministers of the Name — 
Rev. Robert Fergussone, Colmonell, . 
„ Robert Fergusson, 
„ John Fergussone, Barnwell, 
„ Robert Ferguson, Ayr, 
„ James Ferguson, Kilwinning, . 
„ Alex. Fergusson, 
„ Archibald Fergussone, Dreghorn, 
„ Robert Ferguson, Fenwick, 
„ Samuel Ferguson, Kilmaurs, 










Fergusson of Craigdarroch — 
Earliest Mention of. 




Craigdarroch ms., 



Keference to, in Scots Acts, 1690, 


Lineal Pedigree of, c. 1484-1894, 


Additional Particulars as to. 


Notices and Traditions of, in Nisbet's He 



„ Menteith's 

Parish of Glencairn, 


„ M'Dowell's 

Hist, of Dumfries, 


„ „ ,, Burke's La 

nded Gentry, . 


General James Fergusson, G.C.B., 


Extracts from Public Kecords relating to, 



Fergusson of Isle — 

Notice of, in Burke's Landed Gentry, 

. 419 

Extracts from Public Eecords relating to. 



Fergusson of Caitloch — 

Notice of, .... 


Act in favour of, Scots Parliament, 1690, 


Extracts, 1665-1698, 


Fergusson of Over M'Kilstoun (1592-1611), . 

. 424 

Fergusson of Chapelmark (1506-1612), 


Fergusson of Oorrochdow (1610-1647), 


Fergusson of Fourmerkland (1694), . 


Fergusson of Brekansyde (1479), 


Fergusson of Auldgarth (1531-1537), . 


Fergusson of Halhill, .... 

. 426 

Fergusson of Dowalton, 


Fergusson of Craivoch, 


Fergusson of Kerroch, 


Fergusson of Barfils, .... 


Fergusson of Kilquhanity, 


Other Dumfries and Galloway Fergussons, . 


Notices of Ministers of the Name- 

Rev. Archibald Fergusson, Johnstou, 


„ Archibald Fergusson, Kirkpatrick-Juxta, 


, James Ferguson, Kirkmichael, 


, Joseph Fergusson, Tundergarth, 


, James Fergusson, Kelton, . 


, Robert Fergusson, Buittle, 


, Alexander Ferguson, Sorbie, 


, Peter Fergusson, Inch, 


„ James Fergusson, „ 






Fergusson of Spitalhaugh — 

Notice by Sir James R. Fergusson, Bart., 

Sir William Fergusson and his family, 

General William Fergusson, 

Descent of (Note by T. C. Colyer-Fergusson, Esq.), 

Burgess Tickets of Lochmaben, . 





Families in Edinburgh — 

At Restalrig, ..... 

In Haddington, Perth, Renfrew, etc., 

In Ross-shire — Fergussons in Tain, 

Fergusson of Balblair, . 

Notices of Ministers of the Name — 
Rev. Alan Ferguson, Drymen, 

Colin Fergusson, Strathblane, . 
Alexander Moorhead Ferguson, Muckhart, 
William Ferguson, Blairingone, 
William Ferguson, Fossaway, 
John Ferguson, Whitburn, 
John Ferguson (son), Whitburn, 
James Ferguson, Dolphinton, . 
James Ferguson, Pettinain, . 
Alexander Ferguson, Tobermory, 
James Ferguson, Kilniaglass, . 
John Ferguson, Kilninver, 
John Ferguson, Bower, 







General — 

The Old Irish Pedigrees, ..... 

' Stem of the Ferguson Family,' ..... 

' Chief of Clan Fergus,' ...... 

' Mac Fergus,' ....... 

Native Irish, and Eace of Scottish Descent, 
Notes upon the Fergusons in Ireland — 

(Communicated by Miss Paterson), .... 
The Military Career of Colonel W. 0. Ferguson — 

(Communicated by Miss Paterson), .... 
Sir Samuel Ferguson, Q.C., LL.D., etc. — 

(Notice of, by Lady Ferguson), .... 

Genealogy of the Fergusons of Fourmileburn, and their Descendants- 
Fergusons of Fourmileburn, 
Fergusons of Standingstone, 
Fergusons of Thrushfield, 
Fergusons of Ballinderry, 
Fergusons of Tildarg, 
Fergusons of Drumcondra, 
Additional Notes, 

Fergusons of Burt House and the Farm, 
Ferguson of Garryduff, . 
Ferguson of Edenderry, . 
Ferguson of Blackwood, . 
James Frederick Ferguson, 










Cumberland — 

Ferguson Family in Carlisle, 
Oliphant-Ferguson of Broadfield, 




Ferguson of Barker, ..... 473 

Ferguson of Morton, ..... 474 

Ferguson of Houghton Hall, .... 474 

Yorkshire — 

Ferguson-Fawsitt of Walkington Hall, . . 475 

Devonshire — 

Ferguson-Davie of Greedy Park, . .476 

Oxfordshire and London — 

Ferguson of ' The Folly,' . . . . .477 



In Holland — 

Soldiers of the Name, ..... 480 

Johan Jacob Ferguson and his Tables, . . 480 

Family of M. Jan Helenus Ferguson, . . .481 

William Gouw Ferguson — Artist, .... 482 

In Poland — 
General — 

Branch of the Aberdeenshire Family, . . . 482 

Letter of Mr. Walter Ferguson giving account of, . . 483 

Letter from Peter Ferguson-Tepper, . . . 485 

Extracts from Records of English College of Arms, . 486 

In Ceylon — 

Alistair Mackenzie Ferguson, .... 488 

John FergusoD, ...... 493 



General, ........ 495 

Entries in Lyon Register — 

(A) Families bearing Boars' Heads and Buckle, . 497 

{B) Families bearing the Lion Rampant, 503 

(C) Families bearing other Ensigns- Armorial, . 505 



Entries in Kecords of College of Arms, London, . . . 506 
Entries in Kecords of College of Arms, Dublin, . . . 508 
Coats of Arms and Crests not Matriculated, but borne by- 
Leading Families of the Name, ..... 509 


1. Ferguson Bibliography, . . . . . .514 

2. Men of the Name, Advocates and Writers to the Signet, . . 563 

3. Notices in the Obituary of the GentUman^s Magazine, 

1731-80, 567 

4. List of Burgess Tickets, etc., ..... 567 

5. Poems by Fergus Filidh, . . . . . . 568 

6. Gaelic Etymology of Places associated with the Name, . . 573 

Index, . . . . . . . . 575 


General Archibald Fergusson of Dunfallandy, . . Frontispiece 

Little Sunflower and Poplar, . . . Vignette on Title-page 


Fergusson Tartan, ...... to face 1 

Heraldic Plates — 

I. Crest of Dunfallandy, Middlehaugh, and Baledmund 

families. Arms of Ferguson from old Heraldic ms., to face 28 

II. ....... to face 240 

Ferguson of Pitfour (i. 4). 
Ferguson of Kinmundy (i. 2). 
William Ferguson, p. 278 (i. 6). 
Walter Ferguson of Kinnaird (i. 7). 

III. ....... to face 326 

Eev. David Fergusson (i. 1). 

Captain John Ferguson, RN., p. 279 (i. 5). 
James Ferguson (i. 8). 
Ferguson-Tepper, pp. 283 and 482 (ii. 1). 

IV. ....... to face 348 

Fergusson of Kilkerran (i. 3). 
Dalrymple of New Hailes (i. 11). 
FergUBSon-Buchanan of Auchentorlie (i. 12). 
Fergusson-Home of Bassendean (i. 9). 
Fergusson-PoUok of Pollok (i. 10). 

Fergusson of Craigdarroch (i. 13). 
Fergusson of Isle (i. 15). 
General James Fergusson, p. 413 (i. 16). 
Ferguson of Raith (i. 14 and ii. 2). 
Fergusson of Spitalhaugh (i. 17). 

. to face 412 





to face 468 


to face 506 

Oliphant-Ferguson (ii. 4). 
Ferguson-Fawsitt (ii. 5). 
Ferguson of The Farm (in. 1). 
Ferguson of Burt House (in. 2). 

Fergus (iv. 1). 
Fergus of Fallbower (iv. 2). 
Fergusson-Kennedy of Bennane (i. 18). 
Fergus (Montserrat) (iv. 3). 
Ferguson-Davie (ii. 3). 

Note. — The numbers in brackets refer both to the shields on the plates and the 
verbal blazon given in Chapter XIII. 


House of Dunfallandy, 


Monument to General Fergusson, 


House of Middlehaugh, 


S. R. Fergusson of Middlehaugh, 


House of Baledmund (old), 


House of Baledmund (new), . 

. 103 

House of Ballyoukan, 

. 106 

Professor Adam Ferguson, 

to face 118 

Mrs. Ferguson, 

. 142 

Adam Ferguson, 

. 143 

Robert Ferguson, 

. 161 

Captain Joseph Ferguson, 

. 167 

Sir Adam Ferguson, . 

. 173 

The Abbotsford Family and Sir Adam, 

. 177 

Admiral John Macpherson Ferguson, 


. 181 


House of Pitfour, ..... 

. 247 

Lord Pitfour, ...... 

. 249 

James Ferguson, M.P., .... 

. 254 

Lieut.-Col. Patrick Ferguson, 

. 259 

Pitfour House — side view, .... 

. 262 



Brigadier Ferguson, .... 


. 263 

House of Kinmundy, . 


James Ferguson of Kinmundy, 


Eli7^beth Deans, ' Lady Kinmundy,' 


James Ferguson, yr., . 


Old Doorway, Kinmundy, 


Captain James Ferguson, E.N., 


Robert Fergusson, the Poet, . 


James Ferguson, the Astronomer, 



House of Ptaith, ....... 313 

General Sir Ronald Ferguson, 



House of Kilkerran, . 

House of Kilkerran (side view), 



House of Craigdarroch, . . . . .377 

Robert Cutlar-Fergusson, M.P., ..... 403 

Isle Tower, ........ 418 


House of Spitalhaugh, 

Sir William Fergusson, Bart. 

Ightham Mote, 



Sir Samuel Ferguson, 



M. Jan Helenus Ferguson, ..... 













Eireas a Fheargliuis ann 'lis cleanas an iorgliuill. 
. Go, now rouse thee up, Fergus, and mingle boldly in the fight. 

Dean of Lismore's Book, 61. 

Tkadition has it that the clan and name of Fergusson or 
Ferguson is among the very oldest of the Highland septs, and 
that in conformity with the name the race owed its origin to 
King Fergus. The traditionary pedigrees of the royal house 
of Scotland, handed down by the mediaeval historians, and 
associated with the warfare waged with the ' auld enemies of 
England ' by the pen as well as with the sword, place the 
first Fergus, 'the founder of Scotland's monarchy,' whose 
legendary death by drowning off the Irish coast gave its 
name to Carrick Fergus, as early as three hundred years be- 
fore the coming of our Lord. Modern research has, however, 
conclusively established that this Fergus is a mythical per- 
sonage ; but it has as certainly confirmed the fact that the 
first substantial settlement of the pure Scottish race in 
Scotland was led by a Fergus who was of royal blood, and 
whose house had for generations enjoyed regal dignity in 
Ireland, and was destined to produce, in St. Columba, the 
founder of the Celtic Church of Scotland. The arrival on 
the Scottish shores of the real King Fergus — Fergus Mor 
MacEarca — took place in the year 498 a.d. He was the true 
first of the long line of Scottish kings, the attachment of 
their people to whom is so quaintly expressed by the old 
Covenanter Baillie : — ' Had our throne been void and our 
voices taken for the filling of Fergus's chair, we had died 



ere any other had sitten down on that fatal marble but 
Charles alone.' His descendants formed the Cinel Gabran, 
which, with the Cinel Angus and the Cinel Loam, the 
descendants of his two brothers, are described as ' the three 
powerfuls of Dalriada' — i.e. the three pure Scotic tribes. 
The district of the Cinel Gabran w^as Cowal and Kin tyre. 
Before many years had passed the Scots had extended 
themselves beyond Drumalban, but in 560 they were driven 
back by Bruide, the Pictish king, into the confines of Dalriada. 
From Dalriada, or Argyllshire, the Scottish race spread out- 
wards, partly into Ayrshire and Galloway, and partly into 
the regions hitherto solely occupied by the Northern Picts — 
now triumphing, and now suffering reverses in their racial 
contests with the Pictish kings, but always adding another 
to the various elements w^hich, in these centuries, were 
combining to form the future Scottish nation. Ultimately, 
in 850 A.D., Kenneth M'Alpin, who blended with his 
paternal Scottish blood a Pictish royal strain from his 
mother's house, favoured by the weakening of the Pictish 
power through the incursions of the Northmen, completed 
the ruin of the Pictish dynasty, asserted the supremacy 
of the Scots as the ruling race, and established the national 
monarchy of ancient Alban. 

The tradition Avhich makes the Fergusson clan one of the 
purest Scotic races, receives some confirmation from the fact 
that Fergusson families are found in districts which from an 
early period are associated with the Scottish royal race, or 
with specially Scottish traditions. The name was, and is, 
numerous in Argyllshire, which, as Dalriada, was the earliest 
seat of the Scots in Scotland, and especially in the districts 
occupied by the Cinel Gabran ; also in Balquhidder, and in 
Athole, in the neighbourhood of Dunkeld, which succeeded 
lona as the chief centre of the early Scottish Church, and 
which was in the vicinity of the chief seat of the Scottish 
monarchy at Scone. It is probable that from Argyllshire 
Scots of the race crossed to Ayrshire and penetrated to 
Dumfriesshire, where the ancient houses of Kilkerran and 
Craigdarroch have long 'brooked their possessions.' It is 
remarkable that Kilkerran in Ayrshire reproduces the old 
Gaelic name of Campbeltown — i.e. the Church of St. Kiaran 


— and that near Campbeltown is found the name 'Tirfergus,'^ 
or Fergus's Land. It is probable that either at an earlier 
period, or in the train of King Robert Bruce, representatives 
of the race passed over the Mount and settled in Mar and the 
Garioch, to advance in later years to the Laigh of Buchan 
and the extreme north-eastern coast. 

A second Fergus occurs in the lists of the Dalriadic kings 
between Fergus, son of Ere, and Kenneth M'Alpin ; but the 
name is also found among the Picts. It is, however, signifi- 
cant that no Pictish sovereign bears the name Fergus, though 
several are sons of Fergus. Possibly remembering the rule 
of Pictish succession through the mother, and the frequency 
of the king being the son of a Pictish princess and a husband 
of another royal race, we may find in this an indication that 
the blood of the two races was blended in those cases. 

It was an Angus MacFergusa, the founder of St. Andrews, 
who in 736 inflicted on the Dalriad Scots the heaviest blow 
they ever suffered, and under which they seem to have lain 
quiescent for nearly a century. It is remarkable that the 
sovereign of the Dalriads and many of his race, expelled 
from their own country by Angus MacFergusa, appear to 
have found a refuge in Galloway. Angus was succeeded by 
his brother, Bruide MacFergusa, and at a later period 
Constantin MacFergusa, and Hungas MacFergusa (brothers, 
789-832) are recorded among the Pictish kings. 

The term ' Clan Fergusa ' is found, at a very early period, 
distinguishing one branch of the descendants of Fergus Mor 

Dr. Skene, in dealing with the question,^ ' To what famil} 
of the Scots of Dalriada did Kenneth (MacAlpin, the 
vanquisher of the Picts, and founder of the Scottish 
monarchy of Scone) by paternal descent belong ? ' points 
out that, according to a tradition preserved in the ' Tract 
on the Men of Alban' — 'from Eochaidh Buidhe, son of 
Aedain, the king of Dalriada, inaugurated by Saint Columba, 
and grandson of Fergus Mor ' — whose mother was a British 
princess of Roman as well as British descent — 'there branched 
off two clans, the clan Fergusa Gall, son of Eachach Buidhe, 

^ The same name occurs under the form Tirargus in Donegal. 
- Celtic Scotland, i. 322. 


or the Gabranaigh, and the clan Conall Cerr, son of Eochaidh 
Buidhe, Avho are the Men of Fife in the sovereignty ; that is 
the clan of Kenneth, son of Alpin, son of Aidan.' ' This,' 
adds Dr. Skene, ' has all the appearance of a genuine frag- 
ment which has been preserved from some older source. 
. . . We may therefore conclude that Kenneth MacAlpin 
belonged to the Cinel Gabran, but was descended from a 
different branch than that which had furnished the kings 
of that race to Dalriada,' Dr. Skene's reference here is to 
the kings of Dalriada who had succeeded Aidan, and who, 
a century earlier, under an earlier Alpin, had taken refuge 
in Galloway when driven out of Argyll by Angus Mac- 
Fergusa, the king of the Picts in 736. 

The Irish ' Tract on the Men of Alban ' ^ gives the names 
of a number of descendants of Fergus Mor : — 

' Fergus Mor had one son, Domangart. Domangart had two sons, 
Gahran and Comgall, the two sons of Feidlimidh, daughter of Briuin, 
son of Eachach Muigmedon. Comgall had one son, viz. Conall. 
Conall had seven sons, viz. Longsech, Nechtan, Artan, Tuathan, 
Tuitio, Cairbre. Gahran, moreover, had five sons, viz. Aedan, 
Eoganan, Cuildeach, Domnall, Domangart. 

'Aedan had seven sons, viz. the two Eochos, viz. Eocho huidhe, 
and Eocho find, Tuathal, Bran, Baithine, Conaing, Gartnaidh. 
Eocho Buidhe, son of Aedan, had eight sons, viz. Domnall brec, and 
Domnal Donn, and Conall Crandomna, and Conall beg, and Com- 
nadh Cearr, and Failbi, and Domangart, and Cucenmathair. 

' Echdaigh fin had eight sons, viz. Baedan, Pardan, Pledan, Cor- 
mac, Cronan, Feradach, Feidhmidh, Caplin. 

^ These are the sons of Conaing, son of Aedan, viz. Regullan, 
Ferchar, Artan, Artur, Duncan, Domangart, Nechtain, Nem, Cru- 
mene. Four sons of Gartnait, son of Aedan, viz. two sons of Tuathal, 
son of Morgan, son of Echdach fin, son of Aedan, son of Gabran.' 
This last sentence is corrupt, or there is something omitted. The 
names in italics are those of members of the house who succeeded 
to the sovereignty. . . . ' The armed muster of the Cinel Gabran 
three hundred. If the muster, however, is for rowing, twice seven 
benches of them the sea muster. These are the three powerfuls 
of Dalriada, viz. the Cinel Gabran, the Cinel Angus, and the Cinel 
Loarn. . . . The Cinel Gabran, five hundred and threescore houses 

Chronicles oj the Picts and Scots, p. 308. 


in Kint3're, the district of Cowall, with the islands. Twice seven 
benches to each twenty houses their sea muster.' 

It is noticeable that while no Fergus is mentioned above 
among the eight sons of Eochaidh Buidhe, one version of the 
MS., in giving the list of kings, after mentioning Donald 
Breac, son of Eachach Buidhe, adds, ' here branch off the 
Clan Fergusa Gall, son of Eachach Buidhe, id est, the Gabran- 
aig and the Clan Conall Cerr, son of Eochaidh Buidhe,' being 
the older fragment alluded to by Dr. Skene. As the father 
of Kenneth MacAlpin is described as son of Aedan, his 
ancestor of two centuries before, and as this branch is also 
called the ' Gabranaigh,' from the father of Aedan, it may 
be that the designative 'Clan Fergusa' is taken from Gabran's 
grandfather, who led the Scottish exodus. We shall see, 
however, that there was also a Clan Fergus among the 
descendants of King Fergus's brother Lorn. 

The name Fergus also occupies a prominent place in the 
local annals of two of the great divisions of early Scotland. 
In 1165, 'Fergus Princeps Galwaiae,' the great Lord of 
Galloway, who had ruled that region almost as an inde- 
pendent sovereign, and whose wife was a daughter of 
Henry i. of England, and sister of a queen of Scotland, 
assumed the monastic habit in the church of Holyrood. 
His descendants known to history are accounted for by 
one ghastly fratricide on the shore of Loch Ryan, and by 
subsequent female successions which carried his lordship 
and manors to the houses of Balliol and Comyn. Local 
tradition, however, attributes to the Fergussons of Craig- 
darroch a descent from this greatest Fergus of Galloway 
tradition. He appears as Lord of Galloway after an interval, 
' as to which Galloway history is silent, and, strangely, all 
clue to the lineage of Fergus is lost.' i But the Scots, when 
driven out of Dalriada, had established themselves strongly 
in Galloway; and as it was from Galloway that Alpin, 
the father of King Kenneth, emerged a century later, with 
special claims, through his Pictish blood, upon the province 
of Fife and the Pictish throne, while his ro3^al descendants 
are found fully established in the suzerainty of Galloway 

^ Sir Andrew Agnew's Hereditary Shet-iffs of Galloway, i. 38, 


— and there seems reason to believe that the claim of the 
Galloway men to lead the van of the Scottish armies in 
battle had its origin in special services rendered by them 
to Kenneth in his conquest of Pictland, north of the 
Forth — it is probable that the blood of the Dalriads and 
the Picts had been much mixed in Galloway and Carrick, 
and that the name Fergus points to a Scottish strain not 
unconnected with the race that produced the Royal House. 
Nor is it perhaps without significance that when heraldry 
lends the aid of its testimony, the lion rampant, though in 
different tinctures, is found as the arms of the kingdom, 
of the Lords of Galloway, and as the principal charge borne 
b}^ the house of Craigdarroch. 

In the far north, also, the last Celtic Mormaer of Buchan, 
whose daughter Marjory married the head of the house of 
Comyn, was Fergus, Earl of Buchan, who died early in the thir- 
teenth century. This Fergusius appears in a charter of King 
Alexander's as Jiisticiarius ex "parte boreali Scotie, and a 
' Chartcc Fergusii Coonitis de Buchan ante annum Domini 
M.C.C.X.I. concessa/ of the three davochs of Fedreth — Easter 
Auchioch, Authetherb, Auhethas and Conwiltes — was en- 
graved from the original many years ago, and bears the 
attestation of Alexander Brown, Bihliothecae Facultatis 
Juridicae apvud Scotos Bibliothecarius, in these words: 
* Cum autograj^ho ^:)e7ies Jacob um Ferguson de Pitfour 
rite concordat.' The Book of Deer shows that a previous 
Mormaer of Buchan, Colban, owed his position to his 
marriage with Eva, daughter of Gartnait, a preceding 
Mormaer; and, in view of the Pictish customs, illustrated 
in their royal race, it is not improbable that the occurrence 
of the name Fergus points to an alliance between a woman 
of the old Pictish blood and a Scot of the Dalriadic race. 
Fergus was the grandson of Colban and Eva, and prior to 
their marriage it would seem that the sequence had ' followed 
in the main the Pictish law of succession.' ^ 

The name Fergus is also associated with the early history 
of the Scottish Church. It is recorded in the life of St. 
Mungo that when on his Avay from St. Serfs, at Culross, to 
the scene of his future labours in Strathclyde, after crossing 

1 Skene's Celtic Scotland^ iii. 288. 


the Forth he found a holy man named Fergus, Avho lay at the 
point of death, and that after his decease St. Mungo carried 
his remains to Glasgow, where they were laid to rest in the 
spot on which the Cathedral afterwards rose, and which thus 
witnessed the first of a long succession of Christian burials. 

A parish in Buchan, which, strangely enough, for more 
than a century has formed part of the estates of the Fergusons 
of Pitfour, takes its name from St. Fergus, of whom it is 
recorded that, after having enjoyed the episcopal dignity in 
Ireland, he came with a few presbyters and clerics — men 
given to God — to the western parts of Scotland, and settled 
' ad confines de Strogeth' where he laid the foundations of 
three churches. He then betook himself to Caithness, where 
both consonancia verhoruni and virtutuiii flagrancia, he 
suaviter attraxit et 2^ersuasit the barbarous people to accept 
the faith. From Caithness he went to Buchan, where 'in 
the place now commonly called Lungley, he built a church 
of new,' which long remained to the honour of this sainted 
man. From the wind-swept parish on the sandy shore of 
Buchan, he finally went to Glamis, where he consecrated new 
ccenohia to God and chose the place of his rest. ' The beati- 
fied Fergus,' says the Breviary of Aberdeen, ' full of days and 
years in that new mansion which he had dedicated to God, 
foretelling the day of his death, and a little inclining his 
head, slept in God.' 

Miraculous powers were attributed to his relics. His head 
was transferred to Scone ; and ' by Sanct Fergus' heid in 
Scone,' was a favourite oath of one of the Scottish monarchs. 
His arm, covered with silver and set with precious stones — 
'of the weight of 18 J ounces, believed to be given by the 
devotion of the people or rector of Skene or Dyce' — was, 
down to the Eeformation, a precious possession of the cathedral 
of St. Machar, at Aberdeen. The old church of the parish of 
St. Fergus is described as situated on ' these pleasant and 
extensive downs called the Links of St. Fergus.' Among the 
bishops present at Eome at a council in 721 was ' Fergus 
the Pict, a bishop of Ireland.' The second abbot of lona was 
Fergus Brit, or Fergna Brit— Fergus the Briton ; but why he 
was so called it is impossible to say, as he was, according to 
Dr. Skene, undoubtedly of the tribe of the patron saint. 


The names Fergus, MacFhearghusa, or Fergusson are the 
same, and down to two centuries ago the forms Fergus and 
Ferguson were used indiscriminately in some families. The 
name is sometimes derived from feargachus, wrathful, or of 
a fiery disposition ; fearg in Gaelic signifying anger or wrath, 
and feargach, one of a bold, haughty, irascible, or imperious 
temper. It has also been translated ' a strong man.' Ac- 
cording to Logan, it is a personal appellation, in its secondary 
sense implying a hero, but primarily signifying a spearman, 
being compounded of fear, a man, and gais or geis, a spear, 
the weapon carried by the gais geach, or heavily-armed 
warrior among the Highlanders. It has been said that ' the 
Clan Mhic Fhearghuis of Athole, along with the M'Diarmids 
of Glenlyon, are admitted by all authorities to be the oldest 
clans kno^vn in the Highlands.' 'The name,' says Logan, 
'may vie Avith any in point of antiquity and honour'; and, 
after referring to the conquest of Dalriada by King Fergus, 
adds : ' From him, as the first and most distinguished of his 
name, the Fergusons assert their origin, a descent in which 
the most noble of the land may glory.' The late Dr. M'Lachlan, 
xm eminent authority on Celtic tradition and literature, once 
mentioned that he had come across old women of the name 
living in Highland huts, Avhose circumstances were of the 
poorest, but who rejoiced in pedigrees which put to shame 
not only the best Norman descent, but even the blood of 
many chiefs of Highland clans. 

'Though the Fergusons,' says Smibert in his Clans of 
Scotland, 'may not at any time have been ranked as a 
proper and separate clan of importance, or even have been 
generally regarded as at all connected by blood with the 
Gael, they have always formed one of the septs of note, 
which lay within the old Highland line, and which adopted, 
so far. Highland customs. The proper scat of the Fergusons 
seems to have been on the boundaries of Perth and Forfar- 
shirete, immediately to the north of Dunkeld. . '. . The mere 
name of the Fergusons would indeed lead us to guess that 
the founders of the family had a Gaelic origin. As has been 
already mentioned, the term "Fergus" is unquestionably 
Gaelic, being composed, to all appearance, out of the Gaelic 
" fearg," which signifies " anger, wrath " ; while its derivative 


'' feargach " means one "bold, irritable, haughty, domineering"; 
and indeed it is perhaps much the same word with the 
Teutonic " fierce," there being many such sympathetic simi- 
larities in the primitive languages. It has been conjectured 
that " fear " (a man) and " ghais " or " gath " (a spear) constitute 
the Erse roots of the name of Fergus, but we must hold by the 
less far-fetched term of " fearg " as the radical of the name of 
Fergus. From Fergus, when it became a pre-name, not to 
say a Christian name, the generic designation of the " Fergus- 
ons," or " Sons of Fergus," obviously sprung. At the same time, 
the Gaelic origin of the word Fergus by no means demon- 
strates that all bearing it or its derivatives must have been 
of Gaelic blood. The glaringly anti-Gaelic name of Norman 
became a favourite, for example, in many purely Celtic 
families. So that we are only justified in holding, at the 
most, that the primary Ferguses and Fergusons at least 
participated in the blood of the Gael, whom they closely 
adjoined locally. Our general conclusion thus is, that the 
primitive and proper Fergusons were in part Gaelic' ' The 
Fergusons,' he adds, ' appear as early inhabitants of portions 
of Mar and Athole, where their proper seat as a clan certainly 
lay originally. They are named in the EoU of 1587 as among 
the septs of these regions, having chiefs and captains of 
their own ; and they were at that epoch ranked as at least 
Highland borderers, if not absolutely as Highlanders.' In 
this passage it would seem that the Gaelic origin of the Fer- 
gussons is unduly under-estimated. The writer seems to 
have based his conclusions on the fact that ' the Fergusson 
country' was just within the old Highland line, and on the 
Highland borders. But the character of that country is as 
completely Highland as that of the region on the other side 
of Dunkeld is Lowland. The prevalence of the name in 
Balquhidder, and in the Cowal district of Argyllshire is 
also overlooked, and there is no reference to its survival in 
Ireland, and the historical data which reveal the footprints 
of the Dalriad Scots in nearly every region where it was 

General Stewart of Garth, one of the highest authorities on 
the Highlanders of Scotland, who was intimately acquainted 
with all the families of Athole Fergussons and their history, 


says in his Sketches of the Highlanders of Scotland : ^ ' The 
Robertsons and Farqiiharsons change the Celtic Mac to the 
Scottish son, as the Fergiissons have done, ahhough the last 
is supposed to be one of the most ancient names of any, as 
pronounced in Gaelic, in which language the modern name 
Fergusson is totally unknown.' * I have never yet,' writes a 
clansman, 'met a Highland Fergusson who did not claim 
descent from King Fergus, whatever district he came from ; 
they all agree in that.' 

There are two interesting old allusions to this ancient tradi- 
tion. In an interview with King James vi. David Fergusson, 
the Reformer, was discussing the feuds between the great 
families. ' If you go to surnames,' said he jocularly, ' I will 
reckon with the best of you in antiquity ; for King Fergus 
was the first king in Scotland, and I am Fergus-son ; but 
alwa3's. Sir, because you are an honest man and hath the 
possession, I will give you m}^ right.' The joke pleased King 
James, and he exclaimed : ' See, will you hear him.' Similarly, 
in 1765, Henry Fergusson, brother of the poet, wrote : ' I am 
the son of the ancient, the royal Fergus.' This tradition- 
ary descent is always alluded to in the old songs on the 
gathering of the clans, in which the Fergussons are men- 
tioned. For example, McGregor in his ' Oran nan Fineachan,' 
says : — 

' Ach com an leiginn dearmid air 
Clann Fhearghuis nan garbh thiirn ; 
Sliochd a cheud Eigh Albanaich 
A chum air coir 's na garbh-chriochan : 
Mar leomhuim chalma gharga iad, 
'Nuair dh' fhalbhadh iad le surd ; 
Clogaid, sleagh 's lurach-mhuallach, 
Sud bhu ac' 'o thus.' 

' And wherefore would I now forget 
Clan Fergus of the brave deeds ; 
Descendants of the first King Of Alban, 
Who defended our rights to our mountain-land, 
Like a lion strong and fierce are they 
When they march on with glee ; 
A helmet, spear, and coat of mail, 
Was what they had of old.' 

1 Vol. i. p. 98. 


Another old bard sings of Clan Fergus : — 

' Sliochd nam fear nach robh cearbach 
Thanaig sios o' Eigh Fearghuis, 
A righich air Albain 'o thus.' 

' Sons of the men who never were unready 

(with their arms and armour), 
Who descended down from King Fergus, 
The first king who reigned over Alban.' 

The Fergussons were also known in Gaelic as ' the hasty 
clan ' ; ^ and that they were a hot-tempered race, with their 
own share of the j:>er/<grt'i(iu'}7i ingeiiiuvi Scotoriini, is sup- 
ported by more than one old tradition. They are described 
in 1590 as 'an unruly clan.' 

'Ferguson or Fergusson,' says Anderson in The Scottish 
Nation, ' was the surname of a Highland sept which had its 
seat on the borders of the counties of Perth and Forfar, 
immediately to the north of Dunkeld, and the distinctive 
badge of which was the little sunflower. In the roll of 1587 
they are named as among the septs of Mar and Athole, 
where their proper seat as a clan originally lay, having chiefs 
and captains of their own.' ' The Fergussons,' says one 
authority, ' followed the Dukes of Athole.' The clan badge 
has also been said to be the poplar, and also the bog-myrtle, 
but the ' Fergusson country ' proj^er was undoubtedly in the 
vale of Athole and Strathardle. Of one branch of the clan 
it may be possible to carry the genealogy very far back 
indeed. The earliest Fergussons in Strathardle are said to 
have been a very ancient race, possessing a distinctive 
patronymic of their own. ' Each sept or family of a High- 
land clan,' writes Mr. Charles Fergusson, ' generally had a 
different patronymic. For instance, in the great clan Donald, 
M'Donnell of Glengarry was " Mac Mhic Allister " ; M'Donald 
of Keppoch was " Mac Mhic Raonuill " ; Clanranald was 
"Mac Mhic Alein," and Glenco "Mac Mhic Ian," etc. So 
amongst the clan Fergus the Dunfallandies were always 
" Mac Fhearghuis " or Baron M'Fergus (in Gaelic pronounced 
like " Mac-Kerrash "), while Balmacruchie was " Mac Adie " 
(M'Ady, i.e. M'Adam). Even the families of this sept that 

^ Statement by Rev. Donald Fergusson (of the family of Easter Dul- 


left Strathardle and settled in the vale of Athole under the 
Dunfallandies were always known as " Mac-Adies." ' * Sir 
Walter Scott's Journal contains an allusion to the Gaelic 
form of the name here appropriated to the Tummelside 
Fergussons. Referring to his friend Captain Adam, after- 
wards Sir Adam Ferguson, and neighbour at Huntlyburn, he 
describes him as a Highlander whose forebears were known 
as M'Erries ; and in the Introduction to the Chronicles of the 
Canongate it is stated that Scott got much of the informa- 
tion for The Surgeons Daughter from Colonel James Ferguson, 
brother of Sir Adam, who is himself depicted, disguised as 
' M'Erries,' the Celtic form of his name. In more than one 
case the names of early ministers of the Scottish Church 
have been handed down alternatively as ' Ferries ' or 
' Ferguson.' The M'Adie Fergusons of Balmacruchie have 
been identified by Mr. Charles Fergusson with the ' Clan 
Aid,' whose genealogy is given in a Gaelic MS. of 1467, which 
has been the subject of some controversy among Celtic 
scholars. Assuming the authenticity of the MS., there are 
somewhat remarkable reasons in favour of the identification. 
Balmacruchie was in the parish of Kirkmichael. Gillemichel 
M'Ade and his son Cearmac are famous in Strathardle tra- 
dition ; and the Chartulary of Moray records^ that in 1232 
Gillemichel, the son of Adam, excambs a davoch of the lands 
of Pitcarmick in Strathardle with the bishop of Moray for 
the lands of Delays Michael in Strathspey, Pitcarmick being 
the farthest west farm of Balmacruchie. 
The genealogy runs thus : — 

* Genelach clann Aid anso : — 

' Fearchar mhic Imair, mhic Gillachrist, mhic Gilleeasp, mhlc Gille 
. . . mhic Gillachrist, mhic Cormac, mhic Gillamitel, mhic Aid, 
mhic Gallbuirt, mhic Gillacatan, mhic Domnaill, mhic Eogan, mhic 
Filip, mhic Disiab, mhic Eirdi, mhic Angusa, mhic Finlaeic, mhic 
Carla, mhic Domnaill og, mhic Domnaill duin, mhic Fearadaig.' 

' The genealogy of Clan Aid here : — 

'Farquhar son of Ivor, son of Gillechrist, son of Archibald, son 
of Gille . . . son of Gillechrist, son of Cormac, son of Gillemichael, 
son of Aid (or Adam), son of Gallbuirt, son of Gillecattan, son of 
Donald, son of Evan, son of Philip, son of Disiab, son of Eirdi, son 

1 P. 87. 


of Angus, son of Finlaeic, son of Carla, son of Donald Og (young 
Donald), son of Donald Don (brown Donald), son of Fearadaig.' 

From other sources ^ it appears that this Fearadaig 
(Feradach Finn) was son of Fergus, son of Cohiim, son of 
Boetain, son of Ecdach, son of Muredaig, son of Lorn Mor, 
son of Ere, son of Eachach Muinremair, Consequently, ' if 
this genealogy be correct the clan Ade are descended, not as 
most Fergussons claim, from Fergus Mor M'Eirc, but from 
his elder brother, Lorn Mor M'Eirc' ^ 

The ' Tract on the Men of Alban ' says : ' These are the sons 
of Lorn Mor, viz. Eochaidh, Cathbad, Muredach, Fuindenam, 
Fergus Salach, Danmaine. Others say that Lorn Mor had 
only three sons, viz. Fergus Salach, Muredach, and Maine. 

' These are the powerfuls of the Cinel Lorn, viz. the Cinel 
Fergus Salach, the Cinel Cathbath, and the Cinel Eachaidh, 
son of Muredach. Cinel Fergus, sixty houses. The armed 
muster of the Cinel Lorn, 700 men. 

' Fergus Salaig had five sons, viz. Caeldub, thirty houses 
to them, and his wife was Crodu, daughter of Dallain, son of 
Eogan, son of Neill. Fergna, fifteen houses to him. Eogan, 
five houses to him. Baedan, five houses to him. Muredach, 
son of Lorn, had two sons, viz. Cathbad and Eochaidh. 
Eochaidh, son of Muredaig, had five sons, viz. Feradach, 
twenty houses to him.' Thus while the Cinel Lorn contained 
a subdivision designed as the Clan Fergus Salach, they were 
descended from a brother of the progenitor of the line given 
in the MS. of 1467 ; but in that line there also occurred a 
Fergus in the father of Feradach Finn. 

Whatever may be the value of these old traditions, and of 
the Gaelic genealogy quoted, it seems at all events certain 
that the original stock of the Fergusons was of the unmixed 
Scottish race,^ and of what is known in Ireland as the pure 

^ Chronicles of Picts and Scots, p. 316. 

- Mr. Charles Fergusson. 

^ It is, however, interesting to notice the fact mentioned in a letter from 
Dr. R. M. Ferguson, Edinburgh : — ' Is there no probability that our name 
may also be Scandinavian? I was in Copenhagen many years ago, and 
passing through one of the cemeteries I was struck with the names on the 
tombstones. Every Scotch name ending in son had a similar Danish name 
in sen. One name was very common — Borgeson. The B stroked, I was told, 
sounded like F, and the o modified as in German. When pronounced it 


Milesian strain. It may be interesting to quote a passage, 
giving the characteristics of the three original races of 
Ireland, which Dr. Skene has transcribed in his Celtic 
Scotland, from O'Cnrry's Manners and Customs of the 
Ancient Irish, in which, again, it was stated to have been 

* taken from an old book ' : — 

'Every one who is white of skin, brown of hair, bold, honour- 
able, daring, prosperous, bountiful in the bestowal of property, 
wealth, and rings, and who is not afraid of battle or of combat, 
they are the descendants of the sons of Miledh in Erinn. Every 
one who is fair-haired,^ vengeful, large; and every plunderer, every 
musical person, the professor of musical and entertaining per- 
formances, who are adepts in all Druidical and magical arts, they 
are the descendants of the Tuatha de Danaan in Erinn (i.e. the 
Cruithne, or Picts). Every one who is black-haired, who is a 
tattler, guileful, tale-telling, noisy, contemptible ; every wretched, 
mean, strolling, unstead}^, harsh and inhospitable person ; every 
slave, every mean thief, every churl, every one who loves not to 
listen to music and entertainment, the disturbers of every council 
and every assembty, the promoters of discord among the people, 
these are the descendants of the Fir-bolg, the Fir-Gailian of 
Liogairne, and of the Fir-domnan in Erinn.' 

It has been said that in Athole, a country of large, well- 
made men, the Fergussons were the biggest and the strongest. 
In other districts of Scotland families of the name can also 
be found remarkable for the high average of their stature. 
But it may be hoped that there is not elsewhere a frequent 
occurrence of the phenomenon gravely communicated to the 
old Statistical Account by the worthy minister of Comrie : — 

* Colics, too, have sometimes proved fatal, particularly, it is 
remarked, to those of the name of Ferguson.' 

It has been stated by an official of the Scottish Lyon Office — 
now, alas ! no more, who in knowledge of Scotland and of 
Scottish families stood second to none — that it was the 
practice of Scottish heralds, when approached in reference to 

sounded almost identical with our name. Should we not therefore search 
for our name among the Vikings instead of among the wilds of Balquhidder 
and Athole ? ' 

^ The red hair of the Caledonian Picts had attracted the attention of the 


grants of arms, to consider carefully the name with which 
they had to deal. If it Avas clearly of Saxon derivation, and 
taken from an occupation, as Baxter or Baker, Webster, 
Smith, Wright, and many others which can be easily 
imagined, there was no presumption of a common origin or 
clan connection with others similarly designed. If, however, 
it was a clan name, and especially if it were one of the well- 
known Highland patronymics, there was a presumption in 
favour of a common origin or such connection as was denoted 
by the sobriquet of the ' " Bow o ' Meal " Gordons,' recognised 
by the official guardians of genealogy, and its handmaid, 
heraldry, in Scotland. 

It is necessary to remember that, as pointed out by 
Dr. Skene,^ the clans consisted of two divisions — ' the one of 
the kinsmen or those of the blood of the sept ; the other of 
the dependants or subordinate septs, who might be of a 
different race.' The former was well defined. In the 
Gartmore ms., written in the year 1747, the writer says: 
' The property of these Highlands belongs to a great many 
different persons, who are more or less considerable in 
proportion to the extent of their estates, and to the com- 
mand of men that live upon them, or follow them on 
account of this clanship out of the estates of others. 
These lands are set by the landlord during pleasure, or a 
short tack to people whom they call goodmen {Diiine 
Uasail), and who are of a superior station to the com- 
monalty. These are generally the sons, brothers, cousins, 
or nearest relations of the landlord (or chief). This, by 
means of a small portion, and the liberality of their relations, 
they are able to stock, and which they, their children and 
grandchildren possess at an easy rent, till a nearer descendant 
be again preferred to it. As the propinquity removes they 
become less considered, till at last they degenerate to be of 
the common people, unless some accidental acquisition of 
wealth supports them above their station. As this hath been 
an ancient custom, most of the farmers and cottars are of the 
name and clan of the proprietor.' 'The position of the 
dependent septs,' writes Dr. Skene, ' will be best understood 
by the bonds of Manrent or Manred, which came to be taken 

1 Celtic Scotland, iii. 318. 


by tlie chiefs from their dependants when the relation con- 
stituted by usage or traditional custom was relaxed by time, 
or when a new relationship was constituted at a later period/ 
Of these bonds it Avas frequently a condition that the name 
of the superior should be assumed. Thus we find Macgregors 
binding themselves and their descendants to ' call themselves 
and to be Gordons.' 

From an early period Fergusons are found settled in widely 
distant parts of Scotland; more especially in Perthshire, 
Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfriesshire. Between these 
families no definite link of proved relationship can be estab- 
lished, but interesting traditions and curious coincidences 
suggest that all may originally have come from a common 
source. We shall find statements of an old connection 
between the Aberdeenshire and Athole stocks, one curious 
tradition that a fugitive from Ayrshire, said to be from 
Kilkerran, settled in Athole, and another also in Athole, 
pointing to a connection with Craigdarroch. There was 
also a tradition among the old Fergusson families of Bal- 
quhidder connecting them with the house of Craigdarroch, 
whose head, it was said, they looked upon as their chief. On 
the other hand, Dumfriesshire contributes the remarkable 
legend, that the twelve sons of a laird of Craigdarroch, seized 
for their reiving propensities, Avere sent to various parts of the 
country, and that one at least was ancestor of the house of 

According to Highland tradition, the Fergusons bore their 
full share of the fighting at Bannockburn. They are said, 
along with the Clan Chattan, the Stewarts, the Mackays, and 
others, to have formed one of the divisions on the Scottish 
left. This division advanced too far in its ardour, was sorely 
harassed by a body of 10,000 English archers, and only re- 
lieved by the timely charge of the Scottish cavalry under 
Sir Robert Keith, the Marischal.^ Whatever may be the 
historical value of this tradition, it is an interesting fact that 
more than one Ferguson family has its own special associa- 
tions with the days of the Bruce. 

The Athole clan, the Aberdeenshire stock, now locally 

' The Red and White Book of Menzies, p. 52, and communication from the 
author, D. P. Menzies, Esq. 


represented by the families of Pitfour and Kinmundy, and the 
houses of Kilkerran in Ayrshire, and Craigdarroch and Isle 
in Dumfriesshire, all, either by tradition firmly held, or by 
charter evidence, were established in their respective counties 
at the era of the War of Independence. In most, if not in all, 
of these families, tradition connects their fortunes with those 
of King Robert the Bruce and the national cause. It is 
perhaps worth remembering in this connection that the 
Bruce was lord of Annandale in Dumfriesshire, Earl of Carrick 
in Ayrshire, and the inheritor of the Aberdeenshire estates 
as well as of the royal descent of David, Earl of Huntingdon 
and Garioch. To his patronage and policy the royal burghs 
of Inverurie in the Garioch, and of Lochmaben in Dumfries- 
shire, alike owed their early prosperity and peculiar condi- 
tions which connected families either of small landholders 
or kindly tenants with each. And, curiously enough, the 
name of Ferguson has been long associated with both. It 
is also interesting to note that the Patriot King hunted 
the deer on the hills of Strathardle, and specially enjoyed 
the salmon with which the table of the monks of Cupar 
was supplied from their farms in that valley. Balquhidder, 
where Fergussons are numerous, was the scene of some of 
his most gallant achievements. 

Robert i. granted a charter of Ayrshire lands to Fergus, son 
of Fergus ; and Burns sings of Craigdarroch, as 

' A line that have struffgled for freedom with Bruce.' 


There is, however, charter evidence which suggests that 
the Fergussons were located in the Glencairn region of 
Dumfriesshire at least a century before Bannockburn ; for 
two charters dated between 1214 and 1249, to the abbeys of 
Melrose and Dry burgh are witnessed by Fergus or Fergutianus 
of Glenkarn. The entry in the Chartulary of Moray, if it 
refers to Fergussons at all, proves that the MacAdie Fergussons 
were established in Strathardle at least as early ; and the fact 
that a baron of Derculich had to raise an action to recover his 
writs in the time of James v., has preserved for us the fact 
that the house of Dunfallandy had a charter of lands in 
Perthshire in the time of John Balliol. Duncan, son of 


Fer^^iis, witnessed a grant by Malise, Earl of Strathearn, in 
the thirteenth century. 

An esquire of the name is found in the War of Independence 
in company very different from that with which his name is 
generally associated. Among the garrison of sixty men, all 
Scotsmen, under command of Walter Fitz-Gilbert, acting for 
the owner, Aymar de Valence, who held the castle of Both- 
well for the English until after the battle of Bannockburn, 
occurs the name of Willelmus filius Fergusii, described (in 
1311-12) as one sociormn suoriion scntiferoruin ad arona 
commoranciiun in 'niunicione praedicta quolibet capiente 
per diem xii d. The esquires received the same pay as the 
o-overnor, that of an archer being ii d. per diem. In a list of 
Eqiii appreciati, the colour of this William Ferguson's horse 
is preserved. It was a brown charger ; and in the BothAvell 
garrison, with the good Lord James of Douglas anxious for 
admission into his own house, probably had enough of the 
stable. ' Willelmus filius Fergusii . . . hrunnum hadium 
X. Marc: The esquires of the garrison appear, from their 
names, to have been mostly south-country Scotsmen. 

On the other hand, Fergusius de Ardrossan was one of the 
signatories of the famous letter addressed by the Scots 
Barons to the Pope in 1320, in which the independence of 
the realm was so worthily asserted. 

Before dealing in more detail with the history of the race 
in different districts of Scotland, and beyond Scotland, it is 
convenient to collect a few facts of general interest illustrat- 
ing the connection of the name with outstanding national 
events, and indicating how the paths in life of various ' Sons 
of Fergus,' hailing from widely separated parts of the country, 
have occasionally crossed. David Fergusson, minister of 
Dunfermline, a man noted both for his piety and his humour, 
was one of the leading Scottish Reformers ; his grandson, 
and last male descendant, was minister of Strickmartine at 
the Revolution, and his feeling of clanship gave a start in life 
to young Adam Fergusson, afterwards minister of Logierait, 
and father of the distinguished philosopher. It also prompted 
an educational foundation at Dundee, which, in the succeed- 
ing century, paved the way for the bright but brief and 
clouded career of Robert Fergusson, the forerunner of Robert 


Burns. Professor Adam Ferguson, son of tlie minister of 
Logierait, took up his pen to write the first Memoir of the 
gallant young soldier Patrick Ferguson, son of Lord Pitfour, 
who fell at King's Mountain. James Ferguson, afterwards 
Lord Pitfour, as counsel at Carlisle, was successful in obtain- 
ing the acquittal of James Fergusson of Dunfallandy — ' Baron 
Fergusson' — when tried for high treason after the last Jacobite 
rising. The Clan Fergusson of Athole joined Viscount Dun- 
dee's army immediately after Killiecrankie, but in that fierce 
conflict Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch had fallen, and 
James Ferguson, ancestor of the family of Kinmundy, had 
been taken prisoner, both fighting under thd banners of 
William of Orange. 

In 1727, Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran acted as arbiter 
in some family transactions between James Ferguson of Kin- 
mundy and his cousin James Ferguson of Pitfour. Sir James 
Fergusson of Kilkerran and William Ferguson of Kinmundy 
sat together upon a Royal Commission appointed by Lord 
Beaconsfield's Government ; and Sir James Fergusson of Kil- 
kerran and George Arthur Ferguson of Pitfour both served 
with the Grenadier Guards in the Crimea. James Ferguson, 
the famous astronomer, executed portraits about 1740 of 
James Ferguson of Kinmundy, his wife and son. 

In the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century, the Perthshire 
Fergussons Avere doubtless among the gallant Athole men who 
first rallied to the standard of Montrose when, after the long 
ride from Carlisle, he appeared in Highland dress to lead the 
Cavalier clans to Tibbermuir and a long series of subsequent 
victories, and who remained the nucleus and reserve of his 
fighting strength. Shortly before, the Marquis of Huntly 
had made the house of William I'erguson of Badifurrow his 
quarters when he hoisted the Royal Standard at Inverurie, 
and after the Restoration his host was present at ' the True 
Funerals ' of Montrose. Sir John of Kilkerran deeply embar- 
rassed his estate in the service of King Charles, was with 
Montrose at Loudoun hill, and with Alaster Macdonald at 
Kilmarnock ; a Fergusson of Craigdarroch was one of the first 
to sign the Solemn League and Covenant, and another headed 
a small body who defeated a largely superior force of Crom- 
well's army at Glencairn. 


The strange career of Robert ' the Plotter ' comprised active 
participation in the bloody battle on Sedgemoor, and passages 
to the English shores in the little vessel that carried Mon- 
mouth to his fate, and in the powerful fleet that bore 
William of Orange and his fortunes. 

John Fergusson of Isle voted against the Union in 1707. 
Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund was tried for high treason 
and acquitted at Liverpool after the rising of 1715, and 
James Fergusson of Dunfallandy, then quite a young man, 
had similar good fortune after the ' Forty-Five ' ; while Cap- 
tain John Ferguson, of the Royal Navy, sprung from the 
Aberdeenshire stock, was the hottest presser of the chase 
after the fugitive Prince, and gave manly counsel before the 
frowning defences of Louisburg. Ferguson of Balmakelly's 
brigade did their full share of the fighting at Schellenberg 
and Blenheim ; a Perthshire Fergusson fell at Ticonderoga, 
and American historians point to the action in the Carolinas, 
decided by the fall of Patrick Ferguson, inventor of the first 
breech-loading rifle, as the turn of the tide in the war of the 
American Revolution. Sons of the houses of Raith and 
Craigdarroch gallantly bore their part in the conquest of the 
Cape, in the storm of Badajos, and throughout the long 
struggle in the Peninsula. General Archibald Fergusson of 
Dunfallandy, wounded at Seringapatam, did long and honour- 
able service as a soldier in India ; Aberdeenshire Fergusons 
bore arms under the banners of the House of Austria and 
the United Netherlands ; and in South America a scion of 
the Ulster Fergusons had a brief but brilliant career as the 
right-hand man of the daring Bolivar. 

The Bibliograph}^ of the name records good work done in 
various departments of literary effort, and eminence achieved 
in various fields of energy. The reputation for wisdom in 
council as well as power in the pulpit enjoyed by the minister 
of Dunfermline, was inherited, in the succeeding century, by 
the minister of Kilwinning ; and a goodly array of works upon 
religious subjects attests that the gifts of the latter as an ex- 
pository writer have descended to later divines of the name. 
In Robert Fergusson the clan produced a leading Scottish 
poet who stands only second to Burns as a singer in the Low- 
land vernacular ; but it had also its Gaelic poetess in Christina 


Fergusson of Contin, Ross-shire, whose lament for her hus- 
band — a Chishohn of Strathglass, slain at CuUoden — ' Mo 
Run geal og ' (My loved young fair one), is one of the most 
beautiful and pathetic poems in the Gaelic language. In Sir 
Samuel Ferguson it can claim one who has been described as 
the national poet of Ireland. The profession of the law, the 
practice of medicine and surgery, the study of architecture 
and archseology, of botany and of other sciences, have all 
been pursued with success and devotion, nor is the name un- 
known in the service of art. It has taken an active share in 
the public life of Ceylon, pursued its fortunes with credit and 
success in the last century in Poland, and attained high emin- 
ence in philosophic and legal writing in Holland, as well as 
in the diplomatic service of the sovereign of the Netherlands. 
Dr. Adam Ferguson records that when he visited Voltaire, the 
French j)hilosopher 'saluted him with a compliment on a 
gentleman of my family who had civilised the Russians,' 
referring probably to an earlier Scottish Ferguson whom, in 
his history of Russia, he describes as helping Peter the Great 
to calculate eclipses, and as establishing at Moscow schools 
of geometry, astronomy, and navigation. 

In the return of Owners of Land and Heritages (Scotland), 
published in 1873, the following members of the clan, or 
their representatives, appear (as landowners of properties, 
which are clearly larger than glebes or ordinary feus) : — 

III Perthshire — 

Margaret Fergusson of Dunfallandy, Pitlochry. 

Samuel R. Fergusson of Middlehaugh, „ 

Thomas Fergusson of Baledmund, „ 

John Fergusson of Easter Dalnabreck. 
Aberdeenshire — 

William Ferguson of Kinmundy. 
Aberdeenshire and Banffshire — 

Colonel George Arthur Ferguson of Pitfour. 
Ayrshire — 

Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart. 

John Fergusson of Fulvvood, Stewarton. 
Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire — 

R. Cutlar Fergusson of Craigdarroch, Moniaive. 

R. S. D. Fergusson of Isle. 


Fife, Elgin, and Ross shires — 

Ronald Crawf urd ]\Iiiiiro Ferguson of Raith and Novar. 
Kin ca rdin eshire — 

Mrs. Jane Ferguson of Altens. 
Feehl ess] tire — 

Sir William Fergusson, Bart., of Spitalhaugh. 
Lanarkshire — 

James Ferguson of Auchinlieath. 
Wigtownshire — 

The Trustees of the Ferguson Bequest Fund. 

It is interesting to compare with this return of 1873 the 
references in the Scottish Acts of Parhament to landholders of 
the name. There are several in the troublous times of the seven- 
teenth century to the families of Kilkerran and Craigdarroch, 
of whom the first appear in tribulation before the Restoration, 
and the latter before the Revolution. James Ferguson, de- 
signed of Badifurrow in 1696, and of Pitfour in 1704, appears 
as a Commissioner of Supply for Aberdeenshire ; and Colonel 
James Ferguson of Kirkmichael or Kirktonhill {i.e. Balma- 
kelly), as a Commissioner for Kincardineshire in 1696 and 
1698, his son returning to Aberdeenshire about 1723. A David 
of Glenshynroche is mentioned in 1587, and a John of Downie 
in Athole in 1672. Paul of Rochalgreen was a Commissioner 
of Supply for Perth in 1690 ; James of Fourmerkland for Dum- 
fries in 1704; and John of Dowalton for Wigtownshire in 
1685. John of Barclauchanan was a Commissioner of MiHtia 
for Carrick in 1689 ; and John of Rainstoun appears as a J. P. 
for Wigtownshire. William, the successor of Thomas of Cait- 
loch, in Dumfriesshire, was fined £1000 and forfeited after the 
Restoration, but restored after the Revolution ; as Avas also 
Thomas of Finnarts. Thomas of Finnage, Hew of Mains, and 
John of Millander, all in Ayrshire, were fined, the two former 
£600, and the latter £1000, in 1662 ; and John of Isle voted 
against the Union in 1707. References are found elsewhere 
to Fero^ussons of Trochraig-ue, of Dalduft' and of WoodhilL 

Members of the Clan have represented the following Scot- 
tish constituencies in Parliament : — 

In- the old Scottish Parliament — 
Inverurie, 1G6 1-1663.1 

^ Badifurrow. 


Inverkeithing (Eobert Ferguson), 1579 and 1587. 
Dumfriesshire, 1640, 1648-51, 1661-63, 1665, 1667, 1669 
72, 1678;! 1702, 1707.2 

In the Imperial Parliament — 
Aberdeenshire, 1790-1820.3 
Banffshire, 1789-1790, 1832-1834, 1835-1837.^ 
Ayrshire, 1774, 1790-1796, 1854-1857, 1859-1868.* 
Edinburgh, 1784-1790.'* 
Sutherlandshire, 1734-1736."* 
Dumfriesshire, 1715-1722. i 
Kirkcudbrightshire, 1826-1838.1 
Fifeshire, 1806-7.-^ 
Kirkcaldy Burghs, 1806-1830, 1831-1834, 1837-184L 

Haddingtonshire, 1835-1837.-^ 
Eoss and Cromarty shires, 1884-5.'' 
Leith Burghs, 1886-1892, 1892-95.-^ 

To this list may be added the following English and Irish 

seats : — 

Carlisle City, Parliament of 1852.'^ 

Parliaments of 1874, 1880, and 1885.<5 
Manchester, 1885-1895.* 
Nottingham Borough, 1830-1841. ^ 
Mid-Leicestershire, 1885-86, 1892-95. 
Londonderry City, Parliament of 1798-1800, 1830-1860.' 

John Fergus of Strathore represented the Kirkcaldy 
Burghs in 1835, and Fife in the ParHaments of 1847, 1852, 
and 1857. 

It is interesting to compare the numbers of the Clan with 
those of other well-known Scottish surnames. The most 
numerous name both in England and Scotland is Smith. 
From a rough examination in 1892 of the latest returns 
at the Register House, it Avas estimated that the number of 
Smiths born, during the last year for which they Avere avail- 
able, was 1760, of Macdonalds 1000, and of Fergusons 620. 
In a Report submitted by the Registrar-General in 1869, 

^ Craigdarroch. - Isle. ^ Pitfour. ^ Kilkerran. 

^ Raith. 6 Morton. ^ The Farm. 


some interesting statistics were given of Scottish nomencla- 
ture. It was estimated that in 1863 there were 44,268 
Smiths. If we compare the Fergusons with four other well- 
known Scottish names, we find that there were 36,624 
Macdonalds, 30,212 Campbells, 14,476 Fergusons, 10,444 
M'Gregors, and 9520 Gordons. 

The tartan of the Clan is one of the most beautiful of all 
the Scottish tartans, the set being a dark purple blue, traversed 
by black and green bands and upon the green a sprainge, or 
white stripe edged with black, and two red stripes, one on 
either side of the white. The Suaicheantas or badge given 
by the books is the little sunflower (or rock rose), Heliantliy- 
7)ium inarifoliv/ni, or in Gaelic Ros-greine. It has, however, 
been said that the poplar and also the bog -myrtle was used as 
a badge. 

The arms which are always given as those of the Clan are 
azure a buckle argent between three boar heads couped, or, 
the silver buckle and gold boar heads upon a blue field, 
borne by the houses of Dunfallandy and Kilkerran, and with 
appropriate differences by the Aberdeenshire families. 

' In Milan's Clans,' observes Mr. Charles Fergusson, ' the 
figures representing the other clans are dressed in their 
respective tartans, but M'lan knew the Fergussons to be so 
very ancient a clan that he represents their clansman in a 
helmet (Clogaid — the word used in the Gaelic verses above 
quoted) and in the " Leine-chroich " or saffron shirt, " the robe 
which distinguished a gentleman," one of the "oldest garments 
peculiar to the Celts." ' Logan and MTan are, it is to be ob- 
served, mistaken in their description of the Fergusson tartan. 

A tartan of a different set from that worn by the Athole and 
Aberdeenshire families was, however, used by the Fergusson 
families of Balquhidder. In forwarding a specimen of this 
tartan, sent by his cousin at Muirlaggan, Balquhidder, and 
made of his own avooI, the Rev. R. Menzies Fergusson says: — 
* This was considered by my father to be the oldest and most 
correct tartan, which we all wore as boys. It was also used 
by our relatives in Balquhidder.' The specimen sent shows a 
dark blue ground, which is crossed by broad green bands, 
and midway betAveen them a thin green line. On either side 
of the broad green bands is a broadish brown line, and mid- 


way between these brown bands, and at right angles to the 
narrow green Kne, a narrow brown one. Upon the whole are 
two red lines, equi-distant from either the narrow green line 
or the brown one which crosses it. These red lines are placed 
in couples, alternately inside and outside the larger brownish 
bands. Upon the centre of the broad green band is a narrow 
black stripe. 

While the little rockrose is the badge given in all the 
books on the Highlanders, the weight of testimony furnished 
by representatives of various families of the name is to the 
effect that the poplar was the proper badge. 

It is right that a word should be added as to the ortho- 
graphy of the name, as to which both Fergussons who require 
two ss's and Fergusons who are satisfied with one, are nowa- 
days generally sensitive. In the past, however, the form is 
found varying in the same families, and instances exist at the 
present day in which one form is used by one brother and 
the other by another. Thus, while the Fergussons of Kil- 
kerran and Craigdarroch both adhere to the two sss, in 
the matriculation of the Craigdarroch arms in 1673 the 
name is spelt ' Fergusone ' ; and in the records of the Faculty 
of Advocates, three successive heads of the Kilkerran family 
are found admitted to the Scottish bar as ' Fergusone ' or 
'Ferguson.' The same occurs in the case of Alexander 
Ferguson of Isle in 1685, and the last heir-male of this race 
was buried as a Ferguson. On the other hand, while the 
families sprung from the house of Badifurrow, in Aberdeen- 
shire, are almost universally content with one s ; the book 
plate of one descendant shows his name as ' Willm. Fergusson,' 
and another also signs with two. The family of Dunfallandy 
seem, however, to have consistently maintained the spelling 
* Fergusson,' which appears to be the oldest, and represents 
most accurately the translation of the Gaelic. It cannot, how- 
ever, be said that either form is wrong, or that the presence 
or absence of the second s settles descent, and it may be urged 
that the pronunciation is better indicated by the form ' Fergu- 
son ' ; and that Professor Adam Ferguson committed no crime 
when he dropped his father's second s, on the ground that 
it was unnecessary, and therefore unworthy of a philosopher. 


Note. — At St. Vigeans near the Red head of Angus is a sculptured stone, 
the inscription on which has been described as ' interesting philologicallj' as 
containing the only sentence which is known to have been left us in the 
Pictish language. ' The correct reading of the inscription is drosten : ipe 
iioret elt /orcws, and it has been deciphered as ' Drost son of Voret of the 
family or race of Fergus. ' It has been supposed to refer to Drust the Pictish 
king who was killed at the battle of Drumdearg Blathmig (Kinblethmont) in 
the year 729. Other authorities incline to the opinion that the inscription is 
ecclesiastical and commemorates St. Drostan, the companion of Columba on 
his arrival at Deer, who was of the Pictish royal race, and St, Fergus. The 
form Forcus for Fergus is not unknown. It is also interesting to notice that 
the name Fergus occurs in the earliest Gaelic poetry both in Scotland and 
Ireland, among the warrior poets of the Feinne. Fergus Filidh was a son of 
the great Finn MacCumhal, and a brother of Ossian. Professor O'Curry is 
quoted by Dr. Skene as admitting that there exist in Ireland only eleven 
Ossianic poems prior to the fifteenth century ; seven ascribed to Fionn 
himself, two to his son Oisiim, one to Fergus Filidh, and one to Caoilte. 
Two of Fergus Filidh's poems are preserved in the Dean of Lismore's Book, 
and Dr. MacLauchlan considers him the chief poet of the Feinn, even ranking 
as a poet before his brother Ossian. The ' Rosg Ghuill,' or Ode to Gaul, is ' a 
very remarkable one, bearing decided marks of genuineness and antiquity. ' 
Finn and Gaul had fallen out about hunting rights, and Fergus's intervention 
resulted in the fornier conceding to the latter the right to hunt over one third 
of the ' wooded territory. ' The other poem relates the death of his nephew 
Oscar, son of Ossian, at the battle of Gabhra (a.d. 286). Dr. Skene's conclu- 
sion, in his Introduction to the Dean of Lismore's Book, is that the Feinne 
really belonged to the race of the Cruithne or Picts, who preceded the Scots 
or Milesians both in the north of Ireland, and in Scotland north of the Firths 
of Clyde and Forth. The poem on the death of Oscar ends with the lines, 

' Fergus the bard am I, 
I 've travelled every laud, 
I grieve after the Feinn 
To have my tale to tell.' 

In one of the characteristic laments in which old Ossian bewails the disap- 
pearance of his kinsmen the mighty hunters, and sings, 

' 'Tis sad that the hill of the Feine 
Should now by the clerics be held, 
And that the songs of the men of books 
Should fill the halls of Clan Baoisgne,* 

the lines occur. 

■ I see not Fergus my brother. 
So gentle and worthy of praise.* 

Another poem, descrilnng a fierce combat, says : 

' Fergus, Caol and thirty are in the glen, 
Who never more shall see this earth.' 

In the poem describing the vengeance of Conall for the death of CuchuUin, 
among the heads of the slain which he brings home is that of 

* Mac Fergus of Steeds — 
He in extremity so bold.' 


Section I. 

The chief seat of the Fergiissons as a Highland clan was 
undoubtedly in Athole, where they are placed in the map of 
the clans, and where was the residence of their recognised 
chief when the roll of the clans was made up in the year 
before the Spanish Armada sailed on its great enterprise. 
The chiefship was in the ancient family of Dunfallandy, 
for long designed as ' of Derculich,' whose head appears as 
' Baron Fergusson,' and as ' the Laird of Fergusson/ in State 
documents. The vale of Athole ' down by the Tummel/ was 
the kernel of the 'Fergusson country.' There was Dunfal- 
landy, which seems to have been a very ancient — if not the 
oldest — possession of the race in the district, though for a 
time it yielded in importance to Derculich, on Strath Tay ; 
there, too, were Ballyoukan, Bellichandie, and the Middle- 
haugh of Dalshian, which gave their designations to 
leading cadet families ; and there was the west end of 
the Haugh of Dalshian, which pertained to the branch of 
Baledmund, whose mansion near Moulin retains the desig- 
nation of The Star of Athole. The possessions of the name, 
however, stretched westwards in the lands of Derculich, 
betwixt the Tummel and the Tay, and eastwards into Strath- 
ardle and Glenshee, while the Clan Avas also settled in the 
upper part of Glenisla. The lands of Baledmund comprised 
the three pendicles of Glenbrerachan, and the Barony of 
Downy lay partly in Strathardle and partly in Glenshee. In 
Strathardle lay also the lands of Balmacruchie, or Woodhill, 
said to have belonged to Fergussons from a very early period. 


and undoubtedly in possession of a branch of the Athole stock 
from about 1575 to 1840. The families of Dunfallandy, 
Ballyoukan, Baledmund, Middlehaugh, and probably others 
also, were all held of the Duke of Athole as subject superior; 
and it may be more than a coincidence that the three 
districts of Perthshire, in Avhich the name of Fergusson was 
numerous, each gave a title to the noble house which, among 
other honours, described its chief as Duke of Athole, Earl of 
Strathardle, and Viscount Balquhidder. Some of the lands 
of the Lairds of Derculich and Dunfallandy nmst, however, 
have been held direct of the Crown, as otherwise the 
designation of Baron Fergusson cannot be accounted for; 
and a younger branch must also have been in the same 
position, or they would not have been designed as Barons 
of Muling. 

The original settlement of the Fergussons in Athole is lost 
in the mists of the distant past. The house of Dunfallandy 
is undoubtedly of very great antiquity, and is recognised in 
the district as one of the oldest territorial families. Miss 
Fergusson of Dunfallandy states that some of her Fergussons 
were ' soldiers of the Cross,' and an ancestor seems to have 
had charters of Cluny from John Balliol, and of Cluny and 
K3ainard from King Robert the Bruce. There is clear 
evidence dating from 1489 that a previous generation had 
charters of Derculich and Edradynate. A tradition has been 
handed down in one of the Fergusson families of the district,^ 
to the effect that the common ancestor of their stock, and of 
the house of Dunfallandy, had fled from Ayrshire to the north 
in the year 1329, and was of the family of Kilkerran. The 
Baledmund tradition — although it is understood that this 
family were cadets of Dunfallandy in the female line, at all 
events, as representing Baledmund — is that their race Avere 
originally of the stock of Craigdarroch in Dumfriesshire. 
In the male line, as representing Ballyoukan, they seem to be 
descended from an Aberdeenshire man.- But it seems probable 
that the clan had been established in the district at a much 
earlier period even than the year of King Robert the Bruce's 

^ See Mr. Robert Fergusson 's Memo., Sect. 8. 
- The Minister of Moulin's MS. , Sect. 6. 


This shield is reproduced in facsimile from an old MS. (1603-5), in which it 
is thought the buckle was erroneously coloured or instead of argent. 


death. In the thh'teenth century, as we have seen, Duncan, son 
of Fergus, witnessed a charter of MaHse, Earl of Strathearn; and 
it was in 1232 that Gillemychel M'Ath, or M'Ade—i.e. Gille- 
michael M'Adain, or son of Adam, the distinguishing patrony- 
mic of the old Strathardle Fergussons, excambed a davoch 
of the lands of Pitcarmick in Strathardle with the Bishop of 
Moray for lands in vStrathspey.- In the twenty-fifth year of 
the reign of King James v., Kobert Fergusson of Derculich had 
to invoke legal process "^ to recover a large number of charters 
and other writs which had been retained from him, though 
he claimed them as heir of his nephew, the baron of Downy, 
and among these was specified ' a charter of our most noble 
predecessor King John to Adam Fergusson of the lands 
of Cluny.' Now the only King John known to Scottish 
annalists is King John Balliol, and this at once carries us 
back to the 1200's. If the identification of the Fergussons of 
Balmacruchie with the Clan Aid of the Gaelic genealogical 
MS. of 1467 be correct, and the names correspond with these 
mentioned in the Chartulary of Moray in reference to the 
excambion of 1232, the connection of the name with the 
Perthshire Highlands is taken very far back indeed. 

' The Athole and Strathardle Fergussons,' writes a clans- 
man,* ' have from time immemorial claimed to be the most 
ancient clan known in the Highlands, a claim which the other 
old clans of the district have never disputed, the second place 
being always given to the old M'Diarmids of Glenlyon. The 
universal tradition is that they are descended from King 
Fergus the First.' General Stewart of Garth observes that 
' the Duke of AthoU possesses a very extensive property in 
Athole, but the district has been for centuries called the 
country of the Stewarts, Robertsons, Fergussons, etc' ' The 
Clan Fergusson in Athole,' writes Mr. Charles Fergusson, 
* were always reckoned the biggest and strongest men in that 
country of big men. A story is preserved in our family of 
one of my ancestors, " Semus Mor," or Big James, who, when 
a mere lad, along with his father accompanied his clan to the 
north on an expedition against one of the northern clans. 

^ Liber Insulce Missarum, p. xxxviii. - Chartulary of Moray. 

2 Baledmund Papers. •* Charles Fergusson, Muir of Ord. 


They were successful, and carried ofY a lot of cattle, among 
which was a tine black bull which Seinus Mor's father 
had taken after a tough fight, in which he slew its former 
o^vner and his five sons. Coming down by the river TarfF, at 
the head of Glen Tilt, the bull got restive and sprung down 
on to a ledge of rock overhanging a deep pool. Semus Mor 
jumped after it and tried to save it ; but his father heard a 
splash and knew the bull had gone over the rock. As he 
saw his son's head appear coming up the rock, he said, in 
a sneering tone — " Greim bog Canabh, nam bu mhac le t'athair 
thu, chum thu do ghreim " (" The soft grip of a baby ; if you 
had been your father's son you would have kept your grip.") 
To which Semus Mor meekly answered, — " Tha agam na 
b'hao-am " (" 1 have all I had "), and threw the bull's horn at 
his father's feet. He had caught the bull by the horn just as 
it sprang over the rock, and held it hanging by main strength ; 
but the horn broke and the bull fell over, fortunately into 
deep water, and was safely recovered. When old Fergusson 
saw the horn and understood how matters stood, he was 
quite pleased, and said — " Cha deach Chlann Fhearghuis 
dholaidh fhathaist" ("The Clan Fergus are not spoilt 
yet.") (Rather — "The Clan Fergus have not degenerated 

A boulder near Dunfallandy, still called the Bloody Stone, 
marks the scene of a tragedy characteristic of Scotland's 
darker days. On the one side of the Tummel lay the lands 
of a Baron whose only daughter would heir his estate. Ac- 
cording to one version of the story, she fell in love with 
a young Fergusson from the other side of the stream, but 
her father forbade the match. One morning as he walked 
by the river bank, an arrow from the opposite shore flew 
across the stream and pierced his heart. It had been sped 
by the father of the rejected suitor, who was lurking with 
his bow amid the bracken and the rocks. He kept his own 
counsel, was not discovered, and ere a year had gone his 
son and the heiress were married.^ According to the other 
version, the strong-handed laird of the other bank loved the 
lady, but feared to press his suit in person. A young 

1 See Mr. Robert Fergusson's MS. , Sect. 8. 


friend — also a Fergusson — whom he employed to plead 
his cause, succumbed himself to the charms, proved false 
to his trust, and led her, whom he had undertaken to win 
for another, to the altar as his own bride. His bliss was 
short, for the honeymoon was soon terminated by an arrow 
that flew true to its mark as he sat on the fatal stone ; and 
that very night, it is said, the wronged and the avenger 
married the new-made widow.^ 

An equally characteristic and more pleasing Highland 
legend, communicated by Mr. Charles Fergusson, Muir of 
Ord, tells how the heir of Dunfallandy was stolen by the 
fairies and restored to his mother. ' Long, long ago the 
only son and heir of the Baron Fergusson of Dunfallandy 
was stolen by the fairies, and, in spite of all endeavours, 
could not be recovered. At last the lady of Dunfallandy 
applied to the " Ceard Dubh" — the black tinker — a famous 
Athole wizard of the day, and a thorough master of the 
Black Art. After performing some of his uncanny arts, the 
Ceard informed her that the young chief of M' Fergus was 
with the fairies in the famous hill of Dunidea, in Strathardle, 
the headquarters and stronghold of the Athole fairies, but 
that nothing could be done for his recovery till next Christ- 
mas Eve, when the hill would be open only for an hour or 
two before midnight, when he would try and recover the boy. 
Accordingly, on the day before Christmas the Ceard Dubh 
provided himself with a long string with a beautiful red apple 
tied to the end of it, and also a large bag full of a pungent 
preparation, dried before the fire and powdered as fine as 
snuff, and, making his way by Loch Broom and Glen Derby, 
arrived in good time at the famous hill of Dunidea. He 
found the hill open and all the fairies dancing to beautiful 
music, and foremost in the revels he saw the young heir 
of Dunfallandy. Watching his chance, when the child 
came near the door, the Ceard rolled his red apple in on 
the floor, which caught the boy's eye, and he grasped at 
it ; but the Ceard, pulling the string, drew the apple out, 
followed by the child till he came within reach of the Ceard, 
who at once seized him and made off. The fairies soon 

^ See Mrs. Ogilvie's poem, infra. 


missed their prisoner, and, like a hive of angry bees, swarmed 
out, and pursued the flying Ceard and soon overtook him. 
But just as they reached him he put his hand in his bag, 
and, taking out a handful of the powder he had prepared, he 
threw it up and the wind scattered it in all directions. This 
stopped the fairies, as they had to stay and gather every 
particle before they could go farther, which delayed them 
some time, and gave the Ceard another good start. Again as 
they reached him he threw another handful, and then went 
on across Strathardle and up Glen Derby, till at last, just as 
his supply was almost exhausted, he reached the pass of 
Atholeford, where the head of Glen Derby opens into Athole, 
and when once he got across the burn there he was safe, 
as the fairies could not cross running water that divided 
two parishes. When he got quit of his angry pursuers, the 
Ceard went on at his leisure by Loch Broom to Dunfallandy, 
where he safely delivered the young heir to his delighted 

The older Balmacruchie Fergussons in Strathardle were 
undoubtedly a very old family of the name. As already 
mentioned, it was in 1232 that Gillemichel M'Ath, or M'Adie, 
made an excambion with the Bishop of Moray. The Book of 
Garth and Fortingall ^ records that ' in 1358 the Sheriff of 
Perth is allowed £12 for deforcement made upon him by 
Robert, son of Duncan (de Atholia, Duncanson, or Mac- 
Donachie, the Clan Donachie, or Robertsons of Struan), 
and Fergus, son of Ade, who failed to give suit for their 
lands of Balnafert, Ballmacreechie, etc' The same Fergus 
appears in the Chamberlain Rolls ^ as 'Fergusium lilium 

These MacAdie Fergussons were great anglers, and a 
tradition has been handed down ^ that, for services rendered to 
one of the early Celtic kings of Scotland, an ancestor was 
told to ask for some great reward. Instead of requesting 
large grants of land, he is said to have demanded a charter 
giving him the right to compel all the other proprietors in 
Strathardle to cut down every tree on both banks of the 

1 P. 118. - Vol. i. p. 306. 

' Notes communicated by Mr. Charles Fergusson. 


river Ardle as far back as he could cast his Hne ; ' a riofht 
which his descendants held till they sold the estate.' An 
Adam Fergusson is said to have held Balmacruchie in 1340, 
and it was sold by another Adam Fergusson about 1840, who 
went to America. ' These old Lairds' favourite spot for 
catching trout was along the Ardle at Dalnabrick, " the 
Haugh of Trouts," which, of course, was the origin of the 
name. At CuUoden "Niall Mor nam Breac," "Big Neill of 
the Trouts," was one of the leaders of the Fergusson clan, 
and one of the few who returned, and his skill in fishing 
supplied the wants of many of the fugitives when in hiding 
from the English soldiers.' 

It would however appear that the earlier Fergussons, to 
whom the tradition as to the reward of services rendered to 
the ' early Celtic kings ' appertains, were not the same family 
as that which, about 1840, parted with the estate. For in the 
MS. account of his family — that of Bellichandy — written by 
the Minister of Moulin in 1775, he states distinctly that 
Balmacruchie was purchased by a brother of his great-grand- 
father from Maxwell of Tealing about two hundred years 
before, and it will be seen that the names upon the grave- 
stones in Greyfriars Churchyard of members of the family of 
Fergusson of Woodhill correspond with the names of the 
Rev. Adam Fergusson's descendants given in the continuation 
of his narrative.^ 

It will be observed that in the Gaelic genealogy previously 
quoted, and believed possibly to be that of the Mac Adi 
Fergussons of Balmacruchie, the name of Fergus son of 
Adam does not occur. But it will be seen that there is 
a blank in the MS. at the very place where Fergus and Adam 
should be found. The MS. is so old and injured by damp 
that much of it cannot be deciphered.^ It was written about 

^ 'The late Wm. M 'Donald of Balnakilly, who was particularly well up 
in the old lore of Strathardle, in writing of Woodhill, says that the family of 
the Adam Fergusson who sold it had held it for over five hundred years. ' — 
(Letter from Mr. Charles Fergusson.) 'I am certain,' writes Mr. Charles 
Fergusson, ' that there were earlier Fergussons in Balmacruchie than the later 
Woodhills, as they are mixed up in the commonest legends and traditions of 
the Strath from the earliest times, and all writers on the old lore of Strath- 
ardle agree that they were the oldest family in the Strath.' 

^ Notes by Mr. Charles Fergusson. 



1450. Five generations are given ; then occurs the gap, and 
three more generations take us to Gillemichael son of Adam^ 
alive in 1232. The gap may very well have contained the 
name of Fergus son of Adam who flourished in 1358. 

An interesting tradition was handed down in Strathardle 
as to the elder Adam and his son Gillemichael. Adam, it is- 
said, on one occasion found himself in great danger, sur- 
rounded by foes, and gave himself and his men up for lost^ 
when a good priest advised him to pray to St. Michael for 
deliverance. He did so, and vowed that if St. Michael would 
deliver him he would dedicate his son to that saint. The 
prayer was answered, deliverance was found, and the boy thus 
dedicated was called Gille Michael — the servant or disciple of 
St. Michael. The boy, hoAvever, grew up ' more of a soldier 
than a saint, and got out of the bargain by giving lands to St, 
Michael instead of himself.' Thus it Avas, according to tradi- 
tion, that the parish of Kirkmichael, in Avhich Balmacruchie 
Hes, came to be dedicated to St. Michael. The name of 
Cormack the son of Gille Michael, is also connected by 
tradition Avith ' Fuaran Cormac ' — Cormac's Well — a famous 
Avell a few yards in front of Pitcarmick farmhouse. ' It 
healed Cormac of some deadly Avounds, and he built his- 
dAA'elling on its brink.' It was a famous ' Healing Well ' to 
Avhich people flocked. ^ 

Another tradition of Strathardle is that of ' Adie Biorrach/ 
the Strathardle boAvman, thus narrated by Mr. Charles Fer- 
gusson : — 

' Long long ago, according to Strathardle tradition, before 
guns reached the Highlands, the most expert boAvman in the 
Strath Avas an old man of the Clan Fergusson named " Adie 
Biorrach" — "Sharp-faced Adam" — Avdio lived on the north side 
of the river at Inverchroskie. The only one AA'ho could come 
anything near him as a marksman Avas a neighbour Avho 
lived on the other or Dalreoch side of the river. Many were 
the trials of skill they had ; but Adam ahvays came off vic- 
torious, Avhich made the other very jealous. They Avere also 
very keen cock-fighters, and had the tAvo best fighting cocks 
in the district. One day Adam Avas sitting on a stone at the 

^ Notes by Mr. Charles Fergusson. 


end of his house engaged in feeding his favourite fighting 
cock, which was so tame that it would eat out of his hand, 
when his neighbour, who had been watching him, drew his 
bow, and sent an arrow across and killed the cock as it fed 
out of his hand. Adam thought this very sharp practice, but 
slipped quietly into his house and waited his opportunity. 
Some time after the slayer of the cock proceeded to thatch 
his house ; and, with the assistance of his wife, the work pro- 
ceeded rapidly. After the thatching was done he was laying 
a row of turf along the ridge, and fastening each turf with a 
wooden pin, and when he was placing a turf in position, and 
both his wife and himself still had hold of it, Adam, who had 
been watching the performance, sent an arrow over and 
pinned the turf to the thatch just where the wooden pin 
should be. Though startled, the old fellow took it very coolly, 
and ordered his wife to hand him another turf, which he 
placed in position, and then asked for the wooden pin to fix 
it. As she handed him the pin, another arrow from Adam's 
ready bow dashed it from their grasp. This was too much 
for him, so he quietly slid down the back of the house, and 
getting his pet game cock, he despatched his wife with it as 
a present to Adie Biorrach, along with a pressing invitation 
to that worthy to come across and spend the evening Avith 
him. The invitation was readily accepted, and, according to 
the custom of the time, a jovial evening was spent; and they 
mutually agreed that there was no occasion for any more 
trials of skill in archery between them, and they lived and 
died in peace.' 

In another quaint tradition of the Strath a Fergusson 
appears as saving his own life and breaking a sorrowful 
weird at the same time. We are able to reproduce it from 
Mr. Charles Fergusson's Strccthardle, and give it in the 
author's own words. 


'About 1489, as we read in The Lives of the Lindsays, Alex- 
ander, Master of Lindsay, and his brother John, sons of the fifth 
Earl of Crawford, quarrelled and fought at Inverquoich Castle, in 
Lower Strathardle, and Alexander was severely wounded, but 


might have recovered, had not his wife helped him out of this world 
of trouble by smothering him with a down pillow as he lay in bed 
weak from loss of blood. She was Lady Janet Gordon, daughter 
of George, second Earl of Huntly, and of his wife, Princess Anna- 
bella, daughter of King James i. No sooner had she got rid of 
Lindsay than she married Patrick, son of Lord Grey. Whether she 
took the down pillow to him or not histor}^ sayeth not, but he de- 
parted, and she was soon again married, the third time, to Halker- 
ston of Southwood. Though she thus escaped punishment for a 
time, yet justice at length overtook her, and, in the year 1500, she 
was condemned for the murder of the Master of Lindsay to per- 
petual imprisonment on the top of Craig-an-Fhithiche, the Ravens' 
Rock, a stupendous cliff that rises about 300 feet above the river 
Ericht, and here, every day, before she was allowed any food, she 
had to spin a thread long enough to reach from her prison down 
till it reached the water of the river, and there she lingered on spin- 
ning her daily thread to an extreme old age. So far history goes, 
and stops, but as usual, local tradition steps in, and draws aside 
the veil of time, and tells us how — 

" Lady Lindsay sat on the Raven's Eock, 
An' Aveary spun the lee-lang day ; 
Tho' her fingers were worn, they aye bore the stain 
0' the bluid o' her first luve, the lycht Lindsay," 

till she was over a hundred years of age, and till at last her shrivelled 
fingers were worn by the constant friction of the thread to mere 
stumps. At last she died, but still there was no rest for the mur- 
deress, for there her ghost was seen to sit and spin, and often the keen 
angler, as he fished the clear waters of the Ericht, below the 
Ravens' Rock, was startled by seeing a shadowy thread coming 
slowly down from above, till it touched the water, when it 
instantly disappeared, and the scared fisherman knew that the 
Lady Lindsay's task was over for that day at least. So the thread 
of time spun on for over two centuries, and still the ghost of the Lady 
Lindsay, the misguided grandchild of a gallant Stuart king, was 
seen to spin on, perched on her lonely rock, till at last came the 
black day of Culloden, when the Stuart cause was lost for ever, and 
many of the brave Strathardle lads, who had escaped from the 
Royal Butcher, returned to hide in their native glen. Amongst 
others came one of the young Fergussons of Balmacrochie — Niall 
Mor nam Breac — Big Neil of the Trouts, so called from his being a 
very expert angler, like all his race, who were so fond of fishing 


that, ages before this, one of them having rendered the king some 
great service, and when asked what reward he woukl like, he asked 
for and got a charter giving him power to compel all the owners of 
property on both sides of the river to cut down all trees within 
casting-line length of the river along its course through the strath 
above Blairgowrie for fishing purposes ; a right which this family 
are well known to have possessed, though perhaps not enforced, 
down till Adam Fergusson sold the estate and w^ent to America 
about 1840. 

' But to return to Big Neil. He chose as his hiding-place a hole 
under some large boulders on the bank of the river a little above 
the Eavens' Eock, where he kept himself and some comrades, who 
w^ere also in hiding close by, well supplied Avith his favourite trout, 
and he w^as safe from the English soldiers cpiartered in the strath. 
But another altogether unexpected danger came upon him. A 
severe thunderstorm had passed over Upper Strathardle, followed 
by such a deluge of rain that it brought down the river in one 
breast of water. Neil of the Trouts lay in his den sheltering from 
the rain, and, no doubt, thinking how^ it would put the river into 
good fishing ply, and cjuite unaware of his danger till the water 
poured in, and when he got out the rushing torrent of water was so 
strong that it swept him away down the stream. Just as he gave 
himself up for lost, the eddy swept him under the Eavens' Eock, 
and he saw a thin thread hanging down from the cliff, and as a 
drowning man will clutch at a straw he grasped it, and to his 
astonishment it held, and he found it strong enough to bear his 
weight and check his onward course, and by its help he slowly 
drew himself to the bank. By the aid of an alder-bush he got 
ashore, and just as he stepped on to the bank he heard a wild 
scream of joy overhead, and looking up he saw the Lady of the 
Eock standing on the top of the cliff with her distaff in her hand, 
from which hung the thread that had saved his life. In terror he 
threw his end of the magic thread into the Avater, when at once she 
threw distaff, thread and all, down into the raging river, and 
with frantic signs of joy disappeared from the top of the rock for 
ever. Her task w^as done and her punishment over ; she had saved 
the life of a gallant follower of the Stuarts, her own grandfather's 
royal race, and so by saving one life made atonement for taking away 
another life ; and the good old people of Strathardle believed that 
had she not got the chance of doing so, she would still have been 
spinning her weary thread on the Ladies' Eock to this day.' 


Fergusson of Dunfallandy or of Derculich, sometimes 
designed as Baron Fergusson, and as ' the Laird of Fergus- 
son,' was the chief of the clan. The oldest cadets of his 
house who can be traced seem to have been the barons of 
Muling (1446-1633) and of Downy (1510-1521). Next ap- 
parently came the families of Bally oukan, Bellichandy — with 
its offshoot Balmacruchie — Baledmund, Bellizulland, the 
Haugh of Dalshian, who were all flourishing in the early 
years of the seventeenth century. It is a curious fact that 
the earliest deed now existing among the Dunfallandy papers 
is a sasine of 1612; that the original feu-charter of Baled- 
mund is dated I7th December 1611, and that the first 
charter of Bally oukan is also dated 1st January 1612. In the 
Ren tall of 1650 Fergusson of Pitfourie appears, and also 
Patrick Fergusson of Balmacruchie. In 1603-5 there had 
been charters to Fergussons (one of them in Wester Dalna- 
breck) of the lands of Easter and Wester Butters- Calie. 
There is also mention of Fergussons of Stravith (1508), of 
Stronymuck (1572), and of Belnacult (1620). In the Valua- 
tion of 1835, Dunfallandy, Middlehaugh, and Baledmund 
then comprehending Pitfourie, are found, Avhile a Miss Fergu- 
son appears as owner of Wester Cally, and in Kirkmichael 
Adam Ferguson is owner of Balmacruchie and Balintuim, 
Alexander Ferguson owns a part of Balmacruchie, and Charles 
Ferguson is owner of Easter Dalnabreck. 

The Fergussons appear as an ' unruly clan ' in the roll 
drawn up in 1587, of ' the clannis that hes capitanes and 
chieftanes quhom on they depend.' In the Act of the same 
year, by which certain ' landlords and bailies in the borders 
and in the Highlands, on whose lands broken men dwell,' 
were ordered to find caution ' that they shall keep good rule 
in the country, and make themselves and their men answer- 
able to justice,' there occurs the name of ' Baron Ferguson in 
£3000.' The ' Laird of Fergusson ' appears in the roll of 
'landit men 'drawn up in 1590. On 11th November 1590 
caution was given by Sir John Murray of Tullibardin ' for 
certain men in Athole,' among whom was John Ferguson of 
Darcloch (Derculich) alias Baroun Fergussoun, that they 
would find the required caution b}^ the 10th December next. 


It has been supposed that a Baron Fergusson was executed 
for taking part in the Gowrie conspiracy of 1600. But this 
appears to be a mistake, and the true sufferer was M'Duff, the 
Baron of Fandowie. This gentleman's aliases have caused a 
good deal of confusion, which fortunately his successor, while 
participating in it, has done his best to clear up. In 1602 
* John Fergussone callit Barroun Fargussone, John Fargus- 
sone in Cluny, and David, Baroun in Fandowie,' sat together 
on an assize. The last, when chosen Chancellor, was described 
fis ' David Farguison, Baroun of Fandowie,' but when he came 
to subscribe the verdict he signed in his own proper name as 
' David M'Duf of Fandowy.' 

The Clan Fergusson were probably among the gallant 
Atholemen who followed the banner of Montrose in the Civil 
Wars, and formed the original nucleus of the victorious 
Cavalier army. They are stated to have joined Viscount 
Dundee's army immediately after Killiecrankie, and many 
^illusions in the extracts from public documents and private 
papers which follow, show that they formed an important part 
of the fighting strength of the dukedom of Athole and earl- 
dom of Strathardle. The Baledmund papers in particular 
furnish most interesting illustrations of the social conditions of 
Athole, and of a state of society which was shattered by the 
result of the first, and swe23t away after the second of the 
Jacobite insurrections. In 1605 we find Thomas Ferguson in 
Wester Balmacruchie and others undertaking to buy from 
the Earl of Athole and Sir Robert Crichton of Cluny ' such 
quantity of arms as it shall be found they ought to buy ' ; 
and Lord Tullibardine's summons to Baledmund to attend the 
funeral of John, Marquis of Athole, in 1703, ' bringing alongst 
with you a pretty man out of each two merkland with his 
best arms and cloaths,' and the order to meet his Grace at 
Logierait in June 1714, 'in order to hear sermon,' show how 
tenacious was the hold which the combination of feudal 
service and clan attachment, Avhich is found all along both 
sides of the Highland line, had secured in Athole. A graphic 
picture of the difficulties and dangers that beset a Scottish 
gentleman of the days of ' the Fifteen ' is found in the 
documents which record the defence and escape of Finlay 


Fergusson of Baledmiind at Liverpool after the rout of Pres- 
ton. The defence was most common at the time/ and pro- 
bably was pleaded by others who had attended their superiors 
fully armed and with right good-will. 

In 1745 the Atliole and Strathardle Fergussons went out 
with Prince Charlie. Among those to whom similar letters 
were sent by the Duke (the Jacobite duke) of Atholl, ordering 
them to raise their men to join the Jacobite army, were : 
' Below ye pass 
Finlay Ferguson of Baladmin . . . 

Jas. Ferguson of Wester Callie ' — 
and on January 31st, 1746, the Duke of Athole Avrote to 
Captain Thomas Ferguson of Ballyoukan and Captain James 
Kobertson of Kilichangie ordermg them ' to march directly to 
the army with your men, though you should have but thirty 
of them.' It is said that the Rev. Adam Fergusson (the 
minister either of Logierait or Moulin, both being keen Han- 
overians) ' did all he could to keep the Athole clans from 
going out with the Prince, especially the Fergussons, but in 
vain ; for they all went. Tlie only one of his clan whom he 
could persuade to stay at home for a time was Captain 
Thomas Fergusson of Ballyoukan, who wavered for a little, but 
the Duke of Athole sent him a letter which at once brought 
him out also.' 

A letter among the Baledmund paj)ers, apparently from the 
minister of Logierait, announces the arrest, in the June follow- 
ing Culloden, of the Laird of Dunfallandy, and there are also 
preserved two letters from ' the Baron ' himself, written from 
his imprisonment in the gloomy dungeons of Carlisle. There 
is a touch of pathos in the words that the threatened fever, ' if 
sent, will be a heavy affliction in this miserable confinement,' 
in the allusion to ' my behaviour in the unhappy tragedy,* 
and in the urgent requests for ' a certificate of my age, which 
will be a great mean to save my life.' The letter of his agent 
and the formal citations are also interesting, as showing the 
nature of the efforts made on behalf of the unfortunate 

^ See narrative of Forbes of Blackton in Ttvo Scottish Soldiers, etc, ; Aber- 
deen, 1888. 


Jacobites ; and it is particularly gratifying to observe that the 
Scottish counsel who appeared for him, and was successful in 
securing an acquittal, was James Ferguson of Pitfour. 

The Strathardle Fergussons went out along with their 
Athole kinsmen in the 'Forty-five.' The Athole family, as 
superiors of Strathardle, claimed for their service one or two 
men from each estate, according to its size. The Dunfallandy, 
Baledmund, and Ballyoukan papers all show that, after the 
rising of 1715, the personal services of hosting, hunting, 
watching, and warding, were commuted for a money payment 
in terms of the Act of Parliament of George i., but the 
Jacobite Duke (the Marquis of Tullibardine, who had been for- 
feited after ' the Fifteen,' and whose brother had succeeded 
him) does not seem to have recognised the change, when he 
returned to his lands during the later rising. A special levy 
which he ordered from Strathardle consisted of forty-one 
men, and contained five Fergussons (apart from those who 
voluntarily went out with the Prince). The names of those 
who 'marched with Bleatown from Strathardle' on 1st 
February 1746, were : — 

John Fergusson from the ground of Dalmunzie. 

Peter Fergusson „ Easter Bleaton. 

John Fergusson „ Black Craig. 

John Fergusson „ Whitefield. 

Robert Fergusson „ AshintuUy. 
In the following pages there are given in detail, — 

(1) A series of extracts from public documents and pub- 
lished works of a more or less recondite character relating to the 
Athole Fergussons, and mostly of a date prior to the Restora- 
tion. With the Rental of 1650, the Valuation of 1835 is com- 
pared. The owners' names occur so frequently together that 
it has been thought better to give these extracts in continuous 
chronological order, instead of attempting to separate those 
relating to the different families. 

(2) Notes from the Dercuhch Titles and Dunfallandy 
papers, etc. 

(3) Notes from the Middlehaugh Papers. 

(4) Notes from the Baledmund Papers. 

(5) Notes from the Ballyoukan Papers. 


(6) A MS. genealogy by the Rev. Adam Fergusson, minister 
of Moulin, representative of the family of Bellichandy, written 
in 1775, with a letter written by him in 1746. 

(7) Extracts from a ms. narrative written by the Rev. 
Adam Fergusson, minister of Logierait, which has unfor- 
tunately been lost. Also notices of his son. Professor Adam 
Ferguson, and other members of their family, contributed by 
the present representative, Robert N. R. Ferguson, London. 

(8) Notes by Mr. Robert Fergusson, Aberdeen, on the 
traditionary origin of the Dunfallandy family and his own 

(9) Notes by J. and Alexander Fergusson. 

(10) Notices of Perthshire ministers of the name of Fer- 

To these detailed extracts a few words of introduction in 
reference to the various families of the name are necessary. 

Fergusson of Derculich and Dunfallandy, otherwise 
Baron Fergusson, or the Laird of Fergusson. 

The descent of the Dunfallandy family can be substantially 
if not absolutely traced in the extracts which follow from a 
generation which had passed away before 1489 to the present 
time. But even at the date Avhen it can first be identified in 
State documents, it was, accordinsr to the local tradition of 
the district, an old family, and corroboration of this is to be 
found in the documents to be described. 

In 1489 Robert Fergusson obtains a decree for the restora- 
tion of a charter of the lands of ' dartull and edd'deduna ' 
(Derculich and Edradynate), a letter of assedation of the kirk- 
lands of Mulyn and Strathardill, and a bond, which writs had 
been ' given in keeping by umquhill Robert Fergusson to the 
utilitie of the said Robert his son.' . The saine Robert appar- 
ently witnessed a charter in 1493, and in 1537 tried again to 
assert his rights as heir and successor to umquhill Robert 
Fergusson of Downy, whose papers were refused to him.^ 
Among the papers of which he then sought restitution were, 
in addition to the later Downy charters and older Avrits of that 
estate, a charter of King Robert of the lands of Cluny and 

* Baledmund Papers. 


Kynnard, granted to Adam Fergusson, and a charter of King 
John to Adam Fergusson of the lands of Ckmy. These seem 
to mdicate an ancestor who hved in the days of the War of 
Independence, and who seems to have done well under 
Balliol and better under the Bruce. 

In 1539 Robert Fergusson was succeeded by his son 

In 1565 John Fergusson of Derculich appears acting as a 
curator, and in 1572 James Fergusson of Derculich, alias 
Baron Fergusson, is fined. In 1590 John Fergusson of Der- 
culich, alias Baron Fergusson, is found caution for, and in 
1602 his lands are harried by the Stewarts of Appin and the 
Oamerons, while in the same year he sits on an assize 
along with John Fergusson in Cluny, and David M'Duff of 
Fandowie. He is mentioned along with William Fergusson, 
his eldest son and apparent heir (fiar of Derculich), in 

In 1611 William Fergusson of Derculich gives security not 
to commune with James Earl of Athole while unrelaxed.^ 

In 1612 William Fergusson had sasine of Dunfallandy and 
Dalshian.^ He is also mentioned in 1615. 

In 1616 the Earl of Tullibardine granted to Robert Fergus- 
son, son and apparent heir of umquhill William Fergusson of 
Derculich, the ward and non-entry duties.'^ 

In 1620 Robert Fergusson of Derculich was entered by 
precept of dare constat as heir of his father William Fergus- 
son in the lands of Dunfallandy and Dalshian. 

In 1629, and again in 1630, he was served heir of John 
Fergusson of Dunfallandy, baron of Downy, brother of the 
defunct Robert Fergusson of Derculich, his great-great-grand- 

The descent of the lands of Derculich would therefore 
appear to have been, 

Robert, umquhill in 1489. 

Robert, 1489 and 1537, brother of John of Downy. 

William, 1539, his son. 

John, 1565. 

^ Derculich Titles. ^ Extracts from Public Documents, etc. 

3 Dunfallandy Papers. ^ Baledmund Papers. ^ Retours. 


James, 1572. 

John, 1590 and 1607. 

William, his son, 1611, 1612, 1615. 

Robert, his son, 1620, 1629. 

But as tested by the retour of 1629 there are here two 
names too many, and therefore there must either have been 
on two occasions successions of collaterals, or at least one mis- 
take in a name. If the James of 1572 should be John, then 
the number of generations w^ould correspond. 

Robert Fergusson parted with Derculich before 1650, 
having granted two feu-charters in 1537. 

His son John of Dunfallandy was served heir to him in 
1668, having had a charter from him in 1648. 

In 1674 he was appointed tutor to James Ferguson, son 
of Robert Ferguson, his brother,^ and in 1685 he granted 
precept of sasine in favour of his nephew James. In 1705 
he was succeeded by his own son, James Fergusson, who, in 
1744, was again succeeded by his son James Fergusson, who 
was tried at Carlisle in 1746, and in 1751 married Elizabeth 
Butter of Pitlochry. He was succeeded in 1777 by his son, 
General Archibald Fergusson, w^ho died in 1834, and was 
succeeded by his grandson, Archibald Fergusson of the 79th 
Highlanders, son of the General's eldest son, William Dick 
Fergusson, upon w^hose death the estate passed to his sister, 
Miss Margaret Fergusson, now of Dunfallandy. 

The lands of ' Baron Fergusson ' were originally very 
extensive. According to the minister of Moulin's MS. they 
comprehended Dunfallandy, the ten pound land of Derculich, 
the ten pound land of Dalshian, and the third of Strathairdle 
and Glenshee. 

From the report of a case in the Court of Session in 1874, 
in reference to the rights to the loch of Derculich of the 
surrounding proprietors, who were the owners of the estates 
of Derculich extending along the eastern side of the lake 
and mill of Derculich, a small property about a mile below, 
of Edradynate, and of the lands of Clunie and Blackhill, it 
appears that : — ' In the early part of the seventeenth century 
the whole lands surrounding Loch Derculich, and extending 

* Inq. de Tutela. 


down the burn, and now belonging to the owners of the three 
properties above mentioned, belonged to a family named 
Fergusson, whose titles expressly gave them right to the 
loch. In June 1637 Robert Fergusson conveyed to Adam 
Reid and his spouse the lands now forming the estate of 
Edradynate, and on the same day he conveyed Blackhill to 
Francis Reid, the eldest son of Adam. The lands of Easter 
Derculich and the mill-lands were held by the Fergussons, 
and subsequently by a family named Fleming, till 1723.' They 
had, however, been conveyed to the Flemings prior to 1650. 

The following, therefore, appears to have been the suc- 
cession of the family of the ancient chiefs of the name : — 

Adam Fergusson of Cluny (and Kynnard), teTnp. John 
Balliol and King Robert i. 

Robert Fergusson of Derculich (umquhill in 1489). 
Robert Fergusson of Derculich, his son (1489 and 1537), 

brother of John of Downy. 
William Fergusson of Derculich, his son (1539). 
John Fergusson of Derculich (1565 and 1607-1608), (?). 
William Fergusson of Derculich (1607, 1611-1612, 1616), 

his son. 
Robert Fergusson of Derculich and Dunfallandy (1620 

and 1665) his son. 
John Fergusson of Dunfallandy (1668-1705), his son. 
James Fergusson of Dunfallandy (1705 and 1744), his 

James Fergusson of Dunfallandy (1744 and 1777), his 

General Archibald Fergusson of Dunfallandy (1777 and 

1834), his son. 
William Dick Fergusson, his son. 
Archibald Fergusson of Dunfallandy, his son. 
Miss Margaret Fergusson of Dunfallandy, his sister. 

Fergusson of Doiuny. 

On 6th May 1510 there was confirmed a charter of William 
Scot of Balweary, by which he sold to John Fergusson in 


Dunfallanty the lands and barony of Downy. In 1511-12 
John Fergusson of Downy increased his estate by the addition 
of other lands in Strathardle; and in September 1512 he 
settled the whole in fee upon his son, Robert Fergusson, and 
Janet Wemyss, his spouse. His death seems to be referred 
to in the record of that of John Robertson M'Fargus at 
Dunfallanti in 1516. Robert Fergusson, the son, did not 
long enjoy them, and left no issue, for in March 1521-22 they 
were dealt with as escheat to the king on the ground that 
John, his father, was a bastard, and he himself had died 
without legitimate heirs or legal disposition. They were 
granted first to the Earl of Erroll, and then to Thomas Scott,^ 
but the bastardy of John seems to have been disputed by his 
family, for in 1629 Robert Fergusson of Derculich got him- 
self served heir in the lands of the barony of Downy to John 
Fergusson in Dunfallanty, brother of the deceased Robert 
Fergusson of Derculich, his great-great-grandfather. His 
son John was again served heir to him, in 1668, in the lands 
and barony of Downy. It does not appear whether the lands 
were at this time in the possession of the Fergussons, and it 
seems probable that it was only the superiority which was 
then held. The rights, whatever they were, were made over 
to the Duke of A thole, for in a charter, confirmed by Parlia- 
ment in 1672, the lands of Downy appear among the Athole 
estates as having been acquired upon the resignation of John 
Fergusson of Downy. 

The portion of the barony of Downy in Strathardle con- 
sisted of the lands of Over Downie, Middle Downie, Borland, 
Edmarnothy, Cultalony, Stron-na-muic, part of Pitbrane, 
and part of Glengennet (now Glen Derby). The remainder 
of the barony was in Glenshee, and comprised Finnegand, 

1 This Thomas Scott, son of Sir William of Balweaiy, who was taken 
prisoner at Flodden, was the Justice -Clerk, of whom Knox records that on 
the night of his death in Edinburgh the King at Linlithgow saw a vision, 
and told his courtiers that ' Thomas Scott was dead, for he had been at him 
with a company of devils, and had said to him these words, "0 wo to the 
day that ever I knew thee or thy service ; for serving of thee against God, 
against his servants, and against justice I am adjudged to endless torment." 
How terrible voices the said Thomas Scott pronounced before his death men 
of all estates heard, and some that yet live can witness, his voice ever was 
''Judo Dei jufiticio coiulemnatus sum." ' 


Inneredrie, Bynan Mor, Bynan Beg, Redorach, Kerrow, 
Cuthill, Dalmonzie, and part of Glenbeg. 

In addition to these, John Fergusson of Downie, in 1512, 
held Murthly, Inverquhorsky, Dalrulzian, Leourch, Dalmava, 
(probably the remainder of) Glenganot and Glenbeg, and 

Fergusson of Milling. 

The succession of the Barons of Muling appears to have 
been as follows : — 

1. Duncan Fergusson had a charter of the lands of 

Muling in 1446.^ 

2. Fergus Duncanson. 

3. His son, whose name has not been preserved. 

4. James Fergusson, who in 1529 had sasine as heir to 

umquhile Fergus Duncanson, his grandsire, in the 
said lands. He died in 1545. 

5. Duncan Fergusson, served heir of his father Jaines in 

1568, and died in 1579. 

6. David Fergusson, who married Christian Duff^ who 

in 1626 surrendered her liferent in favour of her 

7. Duncan Fergusson, served heir in 1632 to his great- 

grandfather, James Fergusson, who wadset the 
estate in 1633. 

Fergusson of Middlehaugh. 

A James Fergusson appears located in the west end of the 
Haugh of Dalshian in 1598, but this is the part subsequently 
held with Baledmund. 

In 1615, however, John Fergusson of the Haugh was 

among those fined for resetting the Clan Gregor. 
In 1641 Patrick Fergusson, portioner of Dalshian, etc., 
grants precept of sasine of Middlehaugh, etc., in 
favour of his eldest son, Donald Fergusson, and 
Christina Stewart.^ 

^ Baledmund Papers. ^ Middlehaugh Papers. 


In 1650 Donald Fergusson appears as owner of Middle- 
hanofli, of Dalshian, and Balnacrie. 

In 1671 he is tutor to Alexander Fergusson, his son. 

In 1677 Donald Fergusson, with consent of Alexander 
his son, wadsets, and in 1686 dispones, ^liddlehaugh. 

In 1720 Robert Fergusson in Croft-in -loan buys Middle- 
haugh. It would appear from the minister of 
Moulin's MS. that there was a connection between 
his. family and that of the previous Fergusson 
owners. From him the descent of the lands is : — 

Robert Fergusson, 1720. 

Finlay Fergusson, his son, served heir 1753. 

Adam Fergusson, 1763. 

James Fergusson, 1819. 

James Mure Fergusson, Captain 42nd Highlanders. 

Samuel Robert Fergusson, his brother, died 1891. 

Fergusson of Bcdedniund. 

Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund is complained against in 
1607, but the original charter of the estate is dated in 1611. 
The succession is — 

1. Finlay Fergusson, 1607, 1611 ; married Grizell Bruce 

in 1619. 

2. Fergus Fergusson, his son, re toured 1632. 

3. Finlay Fergusson, his son, entered 1681, died 1711. 

4. Janet Fergusson, his niece, married James Fergusson 

of Pitfourie, and disponed to her son. 

5. Finlay, their son, tried at Liverpool 1716. 

6. Edmund Fergusson, his son, entered 1758. 
Margaret Fergusson, his sister, married, 1747, Thomas 

Ferguson of Ballyoukan. 

7. Alexander Fergusson, their son, born 1748 ; sold 

Ballyoukan and succeeded his uncle in Baledmund. 

8. James Fergusson, his son, born 1806, died 1887. 

9. James Grant Fergusson, his son, now of Baledmund. 

The house of Baledmund has been called the ' Star of 
Athole.' The Glen-brerachan portion of the estate was m 


Strathardle, and in the Valuation of 1835 Fergusson of 
Baledmund is also entered as the owner of Pitfourie. 

Fergusson of Bally oiikan. 

Finlay Fergusson of Bally oukan died in 1582. 

Thomas Fergusson of Bally oukan is recorded in 1607 as 
sitting on an assize, and undertakes not to commune with 
the Earl of Athole in 1611 ; his son William on the latter 
occasion being one of the witnesses. 

His charter is dated in January 1612, and he is complained 
against in 1615. He was succeeded by his son William 
Fergusson, who, in 1641, granted a charter of his lands in 
favour of Alexander Fergusson, his son-in-law, and Elsj)et 
Fergusson, his daughter. 

This Alexander was proprietor in 1663. The evidence of 
the charter of 1641 does not altogether coincide with the 
statement in the minister of Moulin's MS., which makes the 
marriage of the heiress subsequent to the death of the father, 
and seems to describe the husband as Thomas Fergusson 
instead of Alexander. But probably there is not more dis- 
crepancy than is to be expected in a traditionary family 
account of a century later, and the minister's statement is 
distinct that the subsequent owners were descendants of a 
second marriage. In any case the descent of the estate is : — 

1. Thomas Fergusson, 1607, 1615. 

2. William Fergusson, 1641. 

3. Elspet and Alexander, 1663. 

4. Alexander, son of the said Alexander, entered 1705. 

5. Thomas, his son, entered 1760 ; married Margaret 

Fergusson of Baledmund. 

6. Alexander, his son, entered 1782. He sold Bally oukan 

in 1802, and succeeded to Baledmund. 

Fergusson of Bellichandy. 

The descent of this estate is thus given in the minister of 
Moulin's MS. : — 


4. Fergus Fergusson of Bellichandy, said to have been 

the fourth proprietor from father to son. (He is 
recorded as on an assize in 1573.) 

5. Adam Fergusson, his son (resetted the Clan Gregor 

in 1618). 

6. John Fergusson, his son. 

7. Alexander Fergusson of Bellichandy, his son, who 

sold the estate prior to 1650, and was father of 
Adam, the minister of Moulin. According to the 
minister's MS., Adam, his great-grandfather, had 
succeeded also to Balmacruchie. 

One of the ancestors previous to Fergus Fergusson is re- 
corded as showing quick decision in taking the law into his own 
hands. In 1510 Baron John Robertson of Straloch 'being 
killed at Dunkeld by Stewart of Fincastle, his death was 
immediately avenged on the said Stewart by Fergusone of 

Fergusson of Bellizulland. 

William Fergusson of Bellizulland, along with William 
Fergusson of Derculich, is mentioned as unrelaxed from a 
horning in 1615. And Alexander Fergusson appears as the 
owner of Bellizulein in 1650. 

Fergusson of Pitfourie. 

Robert Fergusson of Pitfourie appears in the Rentall of 

Finlay Fergusson of Pitfourie acts as bailie in a sasine of 
Middlehaugh in 1706. 

Janet Fergusson, apparent heiress of Finlay Fergusson of 
Baledmund, with assent of James Fergusson her husband, 
dispones Baledmund to their son Finlay in 1711. 

James Fergusson of Pitfourie is party in an agreement 
as to the Mill of Pitlochry in 1734. 

His son Finlay succeeds both to Pitfourie and Baled- 


Fergusson of Bonavourd. 

James Fergusson appears as holding half of Donavourd 
and Janet Ferguson as holding half for her liferent in 1650. 

Fergusson of Inch. 

In 1613, John Fergusson of Inch was fined for resetting 
the Clan Gregor. 

Fergusson of Colly. 

In 1512 a quarter of the town of Cally is let by Cupar 
Abbey to John Fergusson in Cally. 

In 1604 Fergus Fergusson of Easter Butteris married. 

In 1620 charters are granted to Angus Fergusson, alias 
M'Innes. in Easter Cally, of Easter Butteris-Cally, and to 
Robert Fergusson, alias M'Innes, in Wester Dalnabreck of 
Wester Butteris-Callie. 

In 1650 Cally is not named, but Robert Fergusson holds 
Butterstailes and a quarter of Blackcraig. 

In 1746 James Fergusson of Wester Cally is summoned 
to rise by the Duke of Athole. 

In 1835 Miss Fergusson is owner of Wester Cally. 

Fergusson of Bahnacruchie. 

In 1605 caution is given for Thomas Fergusson in Wester 
Balmacruchie to buy arms. 

In 1650 Patrick Ferguson is owner of part of Balmacruchie, 
and Janet Ferguson of part. 

In the Valuation of 1835, Adam Fergusson appears as 
owner of Wester Balmacruchie, of part of Easter Balma- 
cruchie, and of Wester Balintuim, and Alexander Ferguson 
as owner of part of Easter Balmacruchie. From the minister 
of Moulin's MS., it appears that about 1575 Balmacruchie was 
bought by Thomas Fergusson, a younger son of the Belli- 
chandy family, and that he was succeeded by his elder 
brother, Adam Fergusson of Bellichandy. 


The descent of the estate would therefore seera to be the 
same as that of Bellichandy till the latter was sold, and to 

1. The Rev. Adam Fergusson. 

2. Neil Fergusson, advocate, surviving son. 

3. Adam Fergusson of Woodhill, advocate, his eldest 


Fergusson of Faster Dalnabreck. 

In 1620 Robert Fergusson is mentioned as in Wester 

In 1835 Charles Ferguson is owner of three-fourths of 
Easter Dalnabreck. 

In 1873 John Ferguson is owner of Easter Dalnabreck. 

From the report of a case in the Court of Session in 1875, 
it appears that in 1855 the Rev. James Ferguson of Easter 
Dalnabreck disponed the estate in favour of John his brother, 
and the heir-male of his body ; whom failing, in favour of 
the Rev. Donald Ferguson, also his brother. John Ferguson 
succeeded, and had two sons, John Maxwell Ferguson and 
Charles Ferguson. John Ferguson and his descendants are 
now settled in "Western Austraha. He spells his name with 
one s, while his brother. Rev. Donald Fergusson, uses two. 

Fergusson of Crosshill. 

Crossbill, a little property in Strathardle, also belonged to 
Fergussons, when the Rev. Donald Fergusson was a young 
man. There was also a family connected with that of Easter 
Dalnabreck, resident at Milltown of Inverchroskie. 

Fergusson of Claggan. 

A Ferguson held these lands in the end of the eighteenth 
and begmning of the nineteenth centuries. 

General Notices from Public Records, 1483-1674. 

I4:th February 1483. Robert Fergussoun, Sclereoch Fergussoun 
and others, ordained to make payment for the maills of certain 
lands in Athole. — (Ada Auditorum.) 


1st March 1489. Decree by the Lords of Council that David 
Reoch shall deliver to Robert Fergusson certain charters, evidents, 
obligations, and acquittances, i.e. a charter of John Earl of Athole 
of the lands of 'dartull and edd'deduna,' made to the said Robert 
and his heirs in fee and heritage, by resignation of Silvester Rattray 
of that ilk, in the hands of the said Earl, with a letter of bailzery of 
the said Earl's to give sasine to the said Robert, with an instrument 
of sasine of the same, together with a charter of the said Silvester, 
with a letter of bailzery of the said lands of Dartuly and Edde- 
duna, and also a letter of assedation of the kirk and lands of Mulyn 
and Strathardill, made by a venerable father in God, Adam Abbot 

of Dunfermline, and likewise an obligation of Neil Stewart of 

merks, which letters, obligations, and evidents were given to the said 
Reoch in keeping by umquhill Robert Fergusson, to the utilitie 
of the said Robert his son, as was proved by an instrument under 
the signe of Sir Steven Young, notary-public. — (Ada Dominonim 

6th July 1193. Robert Fergusoun of Derguly is a witness to a 
charter granted at Cluny, 6th Jul. 1493, by James Hering of Tuli- 
bole to his son. — (Beg. Mag. Sig. i. 2165.) 

1496, June 16th. Complaint by Robert Aysone of Tulymat, 
against Fyndlaw Gilkydsone, Donald Fergussone, and others, who 
had ' spulzeit ' from the abbot and convent of Cowpar five score of 
kye and oxen, price of each 24s., four horses and mares, price of 
each 40s., — and requiring that the said persons should keep the 
complainer skaithless at the hands of the said abbot and convent 
for the value of the said goods, and of the payment of £20 yearly 
for eleven years on the same account. The defenders fail to com- 
pear, and the case is continued to 14th October thereafter, but is 
not recorded then nor subsec^uently. — (Acta Dom. Cone. MS. Beconl, 
vol. vii. fol. 9.) 

1508. John Ferguson of Stravith is a witness to Barone Reid's 
(of Dalquharny) in Strathardill, Band of Manrent to the Earl of 
Huntly. — (Misc. Sj)alding Club.) 

6th May 1510. Confirmation of a charter of William Scot of 
Balweary, by which he sold to John Fergussoun in Dunfallanty, his 
heirs and assignees, ' terras de baronie de Douny vie. Perth viz. 
Over D., Middil D., Bordland, Edynarnochty, Cultolony, Strony- 
muk, Fanyeand, Invereddie cam molendino, Bynnanmore, Bynnan- 


beg, Rundeweyoch, Kerauch, Cowthill et Dalmonge, cum partibus 
de Pitbrane, Glengaisnot, et Glenbeg : — Tenencl. de rege in feodo.' 
At Stirling, 6th May lblO.—{li'eg. Mag. Sig. i. 3457.) 

20th Jan. 1511-12. 'Rex concessit Johanni Fergusoun de 
Douny et ejus heredibus — terras de Murthlie, Inverquhorsky, 
Dalrilzeanis, Leourch, Dalmava, Glenganot, Petbrane, et Kynnard 
in dominio de Strathardiil vie. Perth, quas Dorothea Tulloch . . . 
sui resignavit : et quas rex pro speciali favore univit baronie de 
Douny.' Edinburgh, 20th Jan. 15U-12.— (Reg. Mag. Sig. i. 3682.) 

Uh Sept. 1512. Confirmation of a charter of John Fergusoune de 
Downy, by which he granted to Robert Fergusoune his son and 
aj^parent heir, and Jonete Wemyss his spouse, and their issue, 
whom failing to the heirs whomsoever of the said Robert, the lands 
of Over Downy, Cultolony and Stronymuk, and to the said 
Robert and his heirs the rest of the barony of Downy (described as 
in the previous charter), reserving to the said John his liferent of 
the said lands, except Over Downy, Cultolony, and Stronymuk.' 
Executed at Wemyss 14 Aug. 1512, there being among the wit- 
nesses, David Wemyss son and apparent heir of David Wemyss of 
that ilk. Knight, Fergus son of Angus, and D. Pat. Young, chap- 
lain. Conf. at Edinburgh 4th Sept. 1512.— (i?e^. Mag. Sig. i. 3769.) 

1516. Death of John Robertson M'Fargus at Dunfallanti. — 
{Chronicle of Fortingall.) 

' At Whitsunday 1512 the quarter of the toun of Cally which 
Wat Spaldin possessed is let to John Ferguson for five years, paying 
four merks for entry. — {From the Recital-Book of Cupar Abbey, 
i. p. 286.) 

2l5^ March 1521-22. Charter to William Earl of Erroll of the 
lands and barony of Downy (as before specified), *regi pertinen. 
ratione eschaete per mertcm Roberti Fergussone ex eo quod quon- 
dam Joh. F. pater dicti Rob. qui ei succedere debuisset si legit, 
procreatur fuisset bastardus obiit.' At Edinburgh, 21st March 
1521-22.— {Reg. Mag. Sig. ii. 226.) 

I7th August 1537. Charter of the same to Thome Scot, justiciarie 
clerico. — ' regi contingentes per decessum Roberti Fergusoun filii et 
heredis quondam Johannis F. bastardi tanquam ultimo heredi 
dictorum Rob. aut Joh. : qui Rob. absque legit, heredibus de cor- 


pore procreatis decessit.' At Tantallon, 17tli August 1537. — {Reg. 
Mag, Sig. ii. 1703.) 

In 1586 a bond of manrent was given to the Earl of Huntly by 
William Scot of Abbotishall and of Downy, ' lyand in Strathardill 
a,nd Glensclie.' 

2?,rd September 1538. Another charter to Thomas Scot of the 
said lands and barony (including the lacus de Cessirno) On the 
narrative that they had fallen to the king, and been granted in his 
minority to the Earl of Erroll on account of the death of Robert 
Eergusson, son of John Fergusson, a bastard, without legitimate 
heirs or legal disposition. Linlithgow, 23rd September 1538. 
—{Reg. Mag. Sig. ii. 1841.) 

\%th December 1565. John Fergussone de Darcolych appears as 
curator of John M'Nair, in a charter granted by Ro]3ert Maknair, 
€anon of Dunkeld, and prebendary of Inchemagranoch. (21 April 
lbU.)—{Reg. Mag. Sig. iii. 1686.) 

1568, 27th April. Duncanus Fergussone haeres Jacobi Fergussone 
de Muling patris in terris et baronia de Muling in parochia de 
Strathurde. A. E. 40s.; N. E. £10.— {Retours Perth, 22.) 

[The precept of sasine following on this Retour states that the 
ancestor had been dead twenty-three years, and that his widow's 
name was Marion Campbell. The MS. Liber Responsionum in the 
Register House, which states this, also gives precept of sasine of the 
lands of Muling to David Ferguson, 9th May 1591, the lands having 
been in non-entry for twelve years. In 1632 the deceased David 
Ferguson, of Muling, father of Duncan Ferguson, then of Muling, is 
mentioned, and on Duncan's resignation in 1638 — 17th December 
— the lands of Muling were granted to the Earl of Tullibardin. 
— {Reg. Mag. Sig. Not yet printed. Note communicated by J. G. 
Maitland Thomson, Esq.) 

?>rd February 1572-3. James Fergussone of Dirtullych, alias 
Barroun Fergussone, was fined for non-appearance of certain 
persons, and Patrick Fergussoun of Stronymuk, for non-appearance 
of others who were charged with the slaughter of umquhill Robert 
Inglis in Medoheid. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, i. p. 39.) 

Ibth February 1573. Fergus Fergussoun of Bellechandie appears 
as one of an assize on 15th February 1573, referred to in a grant of 
annualrent (?) out of the lands of Fascalyie to Andrew Earl of 
Erroll, dated 9th April lb1L—{Reg. Mag. Sig. iii. 2225.) 


1587, 1590. 'The Koll of the Clannis that has Capitanis, 
Cheiffis and Chiftennis, quhomeon they depend oftymes aganis 
the will of thair Landis-lordis alsweill on the Bordouris as Hielandis, 
and of sum special personis of branches of the saidis Clannis. 

Highlands and Islands .... Fergussonis. 

Landit Men . • • Fergussoun . . .' 

(P. C. Reg. iv. p. 782.) 

Among those ordered on 16th December 1590 to find caution 
within fifteen days under pain of rebellion, is " Baron Fergusoun 
in £3000."— (P. C. Reg. p. 803.) 

Sir John Murray of Tulliebardine finds caution for certain men 
in Athole, including Johne Fergusoun of Darcloch, alias Barroun 
Fergussoun, in 1000 merks each, that they will find caution by lOih 
December next.— (P. C. Reg. p. 813.) 

2'2nd April 1592. Caution by Sir John Murray of Tullibardine 
for Sir Thomas Stewart of Garntullie in 5000 merks, and for . . . 
Johne Fergusoun of Derculie ... all in 500 merks each, 
that they shall not reset or intercommune with Frances some- 
time Earle Bothuile, or his accomplices, or his or their resetters, 
and that they shall not reset, or suffer to pass through their lands, 
any thieves, sorners, or broken men of the Highlands, or reset 
within their bounds such goods as shall be stolen by such, and also 
that they shall assist the king's good subjects in following and 
rescue of goods reft or stolen, and for apprehending the malefactor 
according to the general band. Perth, 22nd April 1592. — 
(P. C. Reg. iv. p. 743.) 

\Wi June 1595. — David Fergussoun of Muling, principal, and 
other parties, give caution ' not to harm Sir Patrick. Creichton of 
Strathurd.'— (P. C. Reg. v. p. 654.) 

8/^ October 1595. Registration of band by certain Stewarts for 
David M'Duff of Fandowie, and David Fergussone of Mouling, 
£1000, each, not to harm certain M'Duff's.— (P. C. Reg. v. p. 665.) 

James Fergussone in the Hauch of Tullymet accompanies AVilliam 
Stewart of Kinnaird in an attack upon the bailie of Dunkeld. 
—(P. C. Reg. v. p. 282.) 

list December 1598. 'Complaint by AVilliame Blair of Bagillo, 
master of John Pyet in Nether Balmyll, as follows : — Upon 27th 
March last Donald Fergussoun in Pitnazair, Fergus Fergussoun his 


brother there, Johne M'Innes in the Coill of Balduchane, James 
Fergussoun in the west end of the Haugh of Dalcheane, Allaster 
Stewart, son of Williame Stewart of Belnakily, and James Crokat 
younger, came at night to the dwelling-house of the said Pyet 
where he was in peacable manner taking the night's rest, "and 
violentlie tuke him furth of his house, caryed him as captive and 
presouner with thame a grit space, of purpois to have transported 
him to the Hielandis, and thair to have detenit him in miserie 
quhill he had redemit himselff be a grit ransomn : quhilk they had 
not faillit to have done had he not promeist to thame a grit soume 
of money for his liber tie ; lyke as at that same tyme thay violentlie 
reft and away tuke the haill insicht plennesching and movabillis of 
his house, and boistit, threatnit, and minassit to cutt of his heid with 
swordis." The complainer appearing personally, all the accused 
for not appearing are to be denounced rebels.' — (P. C. Beg. v. 
p. 504.) 

1602. 'Complaint by Johne Fergusoun of Dercullych that 
Donnald M'Eane Dowy V'Allaster M'Eane Alrich, Duncan Stewart 
of Appin's man, with his accomplices, came to the pursuer's 
" Month " of Derculych five years ago, and reft four mares worth 
£20 each. The prisoner appearing by Johne Schaw his procurator, 
Stewart, for neither appearing nor having entered, his said man 
is to be denounced rebel.' — (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 463.) 

1602. 'Complaint by Johne Fergusoun of Derneculych as 
follows :— Allan M'Coneill Duy, chief of the Clan Chamroun, 
Allaster M 'Allaster Camrone of Glenaves Soirll Moir M'Coneill 
V'AUane Camrone, Malcolme and Donald his sons, had been 
ordained by a decree of the Council and Session to restore to the 
complainer " Sex score ten ky and oxin with xxxv ky and oxin " 
stolen by them from him and his tenants furth of his lands of 
Derculych and Downikane, within the bounds of Atholl, with divers 
horses, mares, and plenishing, extending to great values and 
quantities. For not satisfying the said decree they had been put 
to the horn, at which they still remain. Pursuer had complained 
to his Highness at the last Convention held at Perth, and the 
complaint had been then remitted to Sir Patrick Murray that he 
might " travell " for redress with the Marquis of Huntley as the 
landlord of the said persons. The pursuer and the Marquis 
appearing, the Lords find that the Marquis should enter the said 
rebels and assign him 3rd May next for that purpose.' — (P. C. Beg. 
vi. p. 495.) 


1602. Complaint against the servants of David Fergusoun, 
baron of Muling, and others, for attacking with bows and arrows 
the late AVilliam Dow in Auchtergaven, Muling. Lawers, and 
Tullibardine, not having entered their servants decerned to satisfy 
pursuer for the said skaith, extending to 1000 merks. — (P. C. Beg. 
vi. 414-415.) 

1602. Further process at instance of Sir Johne Murray of 
Tullibardine.— (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 465.) 

1602. 'The baron of Muling having neglected the charge to 
appear this day and present Johnne Bell in Muling, his tenant,' to 
answer a complaint, is to be denounced rebel. — (P. C. Beg. vi. 
p. 486.) 

Further reference. — (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 744.) 

July 3rd, 1602. There sat upon an assize 'Johne Farguisone 
callit Barronne Farguesoune, Johne Farguesone in Cluny, and 
David Barroune in Fandowie.' Of the last it is observed in a note, 
' This person's name affords an instance of the difficulty and un- 
certainty of genealogical inquiries, and the immense research 
necessary for tracing family pedigrees, especially in the north of 
Scotland. He is here described as "David Barroun in Fandowie." 
When chosen Chancellor of the Assize he is designed " David 
Farguison, Barroun of Fandowie," and he subscribes the verdict of 
the assize "Dauid M'Duf of Fandowy." — (Pitcairn's Crini. Trials, 
ii. p. 394.) 

John M'DufF alias Barroun was condemned, with two others, to 
death for the Go^vrie conspiracy. — (Ibid. ii. pp. 153-155.) And on 
22nd August 1600 there were executed in Perth three of my Lord 
Cowrie's servants — ' ane callit Barroun.' — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, 
ii. p. 246.) 

1 605. Caution given among others for Thomas Fergusoun in 
AVester Balmacruchie, ... 'to buy from Johne Earl of Atholl 
and Sir Kobert Crichtoun of Cluny such quantity of arms as it 
shall be found they ought to buy, under the pain of £50 for each 
stand.'— (P. C. Beg. vii. 581.) 

3rd Nov. 1606. James Fergussone in Inche of Logyrait was 
among armed men — ' hieland men having a bagpipe afoir them,' — 
who, on 3rd Nov. 1606, came to the abbey of Couper, forcibly 
broke up the doors, removed the Commendator and his family, 


iiitromitted with his whole goods therein, ' streekit thair pleughis 
in his yairdis and orcheardis within the precinct,' and continued to 
hold the said abbey as a house of war. — (P. C. Reg. viii. 15.) 

On June 27, 1607, Thos. Farguisoun of Bellewchane sat on an 
assize. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, ii. p. 528.) 

1607. Finla Fergusoun of Baledmount, complained against by 
Andrew Lord Stewart of Uchiltrie as remaining unrelaxecl from 
a horning of 20th June last for not paying him certain sums of 
money. — (P. C. Beg. vii. 449.) 

llth August 1607. Thomas Fergusoun of Belleyuikan is witness 
to a bond subscribed at Dunkelcl. — (P. C. Reg. vii. 686.) 

l^tli August 1607. — 'George Carny of Pitcastell for Johne 
Fergusoun, called Baron Fergusone, and William Fergusone his 
eldest son and ap23arent heir (fiar of Darcullych), £1000 each not 
to harm Patrick Stirling, Commendator of Coupar.' — (P. C. Reg. 
vii. 685.) 

1607. 'James Nasmith of Invar for Johne Fergusone of Dar- 
cullych, 2000 merks not to harm Duncane Menzies of Comrie.' — 

(P. C. Reg. vii. 682.) 

1st March 1608. John Fergussoun of Darcullie and Thomas 
Fergussoun of Belliewchane appear on an assize on 30th Dec. 1607, 
referred to in a charter of the Mains of Invermay, etc., granted to 
Henry, Commendator of Sanct-Colmes-Inche, on 1st March 1608. — 
{Reg. Mag. Sig. v. 2044.) 

1610. Johne Fergusoun in the Hauch of Dulsche, and Donald 
Ferguson in Petegiie, and Donald Fergusoun in the wood of 
Edradour appear, the former as unrelaxecl and the last as denounced 
rebel in 1610.— (P. C. Reg. viii. pp. 429, 430.) 

llth Jan. 1611. 'Sir James Stewart of Balliachin as principal, 
and Johne Stewart of Graniche as surety for him, et vice versa, 
and William Fergusoun of Derculych as principal, and Thomas 
Ferguson in Bellij^eacone as cautioner for him, et vice versa, 1000 
merks each, not to reset or intercommune with James Earl of 
Athoill while unrelaxed from the horning against him for escaping 
from AYalter Lord Blantyre, to whose custody he had been com- 
mitted by his Majesty's special direction. Among the Avitnesses is 


William Fergiisoun, son of Thomas Fergusoun of Belleyecone.' At 
Edinburgh, 11th January 1611.— (P. C. Beg. ix. 668, 669.) 

\bth Sept. 1613. The following Fergussons were fined for 
resetting the Clan Gregor : — Adam Fergusson in Drumfernet, 100 
merkis ; Allaster Fergusson in Balliviillane, 200 merkis ; Donald 
Fergusson in Indendour, £100 ; Johne Fergusson of the Hauch, 
£50 ; Thomas Fergusson of Ballieyukan, 500 merkis ; Adam Fer- 
gusson of Ballichandie, 300 merkis ; John Fergusson of Inche, 50 
merkis. — (P. C. Reg. x.) 

1615. Complaint by Donald Neisch, servitor to William Earl 
of Tullibardine, that Thomas Fergusoun of Ballizocan as principal, 
Alexander Robertson of Inchmagranoch, William Fergussoun of 
Dercullych, and William Fergusoun of Bellizulland, as cautioners, 
remain unrelaxed from a horning of 1st December last for not 
paying to pursuer 500 merks of principal and £50 of expenses. 
Order to Captain of the Guard to apprehend defenders, seize their 
houses, and inventory their goods for the King's use. — (P. C. Reg. 
X. p. 383.) 

2\st Dec. 1615. Similar complaint against Thomas Fergusoun 
of Ballizoukane and AVilliam Fergusoun of Derculich by Robert 
Kirkwood, W.S.— (P. C. Reg. x. p. 431.) 

1618. Fergusoun of Mulyn and others to find caution for 
keeping the peace in respect of the unhappy slaughter of the 
Toshach of Monyvaird by young Bruce of Cultmalindie. — (P. C. 
Reg. xi. 439.) 

On July 26, 1620, Johne Fergusone of Belnacult in Straloche 
was unlawed in 100 merks for not entering certain persons accused 
of carrying off a ' simple puir man ' to the castle of Blair, where he 
met with a miserable end. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, iii. p. 491.) 

16th March 1620. Confirmation of a charter (of 19 Nov. 1603), 
by M'hich the late Andrew Hering of Glasclune, David Hering, 
feuar of Glasclune, his son and apparent heir, and Andrew Hering 
of Caleis, second son of the said Andrew senior, granted in feu to 
Angus Fargusone, alias M'Innes, in Eister-Butteris-Callie 'quar- 
teriam terrarum (et ville) lie Eister Butteris-Calie (intra bondas 
specificatas) cum moris, piscationibus, lie girsinggis et schealingis 
(per eum occupat)' vie. Perth. — (Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 2157.) 


16/A March 1620. Angus Fergusson is witness to a similar 
charter to James Robertsone, alias Reache. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 2158.) 

16^/i March 1620. The same parties, by charter dated at Glasclune 
et Calie 6th and 9th Nov. 1605, granted in feu to 'Robert Fergus- 
sone, alicis M'Innes, in Wester Dalnabreck (afterwards in Calie) 
' solarem tertiam partem terrarum et ville de Wester-Butteris-Calie 
per currentem rigam cum ejus moris, piscationibus, lie girssingis et 
schealingis (per Finlaum Bell occupatam) v. Perth. 

Among the witnesses was James Fergussone 'in monte de Caleis.' 
—{Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 2156.) 

16th March 1620. The same parties also granted to John Makain 
Vic'inlay and Jonete Fergussone, alias M'Innes, his wife, the Avest 
third part of the lands and town of AYester Butteris-Callie. — {Reg. 
Mag. Sig. vi. 2159.) 

March 7th, 1 629. Robertus Fergussoun de Derculyth haeres Joannis 
Fergussoun in Dunfallanty fratris quondam Roberti Fergussoun de 
Derculyth ahavi, in terris baronire de Douny viz. Over Douny, 
Middill Douny, Bordland, Edmarnohty, Culcolany, Stronymuk, 
Fanzeand, Inneredre cum molendino, Bynnanmoir, Bynnanbeig, 
Randeveyois, Keranich, Couthill, et Dalmonge, cum partibus de 
Pitbrane, Glengaifus et Glenbeig eisdem pertinentibus. A. E £8 ; 
N. E. £?,'2.—{Retours, Perth, 367.) 

Jan. 23rd, 1630. Robertus Fergussoun de Derculiche haeres 
Joannis Fergussoun de Dunfallanding, Baro de Douny fratris ahavi. 
— Retours, General, 1721.) 

Jan. 21s/, 1632. Fergusius Fergusone de Belledmond haeres Fin- 
layi Fergussoun de Belledmond patris — in 40 solidatis terrarum de 
Balledmond, cum 3 pendiculis de Glenbrerachan, ex orientali parte 
de Geirdaharvie, nuncupatis Solaris rinrig de Tomquhewlan :— aliis 
2 pendiculis vocatis orientalis pars de Glen vulgariter appellatis the 
east end of the Glen, ac lie Schealingis appellatis Ruichragan, Bin- 
craig Wreck et dimidietate de Badinturk : 26 solidatis 8 denariatis 
terrarum de West end de Hauch de Dalschean cum silva quercina 
salmonum piscatione et pratis lie meddowis omnibus in tenandria de 
Logyrait. E. i£13, 6s. M.-{Retours, Perth, 407.) 

August 11th, 1632. Duncanus Fergussoune de Mulling haeres 
Jacobi Fergussoune de Mulling jpro-avi, in terris et baronia de 
Mulling in baronia de Strathurd. — {Retours, Perth, 413.) 


Oct. 1th, 1668. Joannes Fergusone de Drumfalnidies /iae?'es Roberti 
Fergussone de Derculyt imtris, in terris et baronia de Dounie viz. 
Ovir Dounie, Midle Dounie, Boirland Edmarnochtie, Cultoloney, 
Stronymuk, Fanzeand, Inneridrie cum molendino, Bynnanmoir, 
Bynanbeg, Randeneyock, Kerauch, Cuthill et Balmoig cum partibus 
de Pitbrane, Glengaisnet, et Glenl)eg. — {Eetour.^ Perth, 782.) 

Dec. 8th, 1671. Donaldus Fergusone in Hauch de Dalshiane pro- 
pinquior agnatus id est consanguineus ex parti patris Alexandro 
Fergusone ejus filio. — {LKjuisitiones cle Tutela, 970.) 

Jan. 2Qth, 1674. Joannes Fergusone de Drumfadlawes propinquior 
agnatus id est consanguineus exparte patris Jacobo Fergusone filio 
Roberti Fergusone fratris dicti Joannis Fergusone de Drumfad- 
lawes. — {Inquisitiones de Tutela, 987.) 

1650. The Rentall of the County of Perth, made up in 1650 in 
accordance with an Act of the Scottish Estates of 1649, shows that 
at that date the following Fergussons were landowners in the 
county : — 

Logierait — 

Robert Fergusone for Wester Dunfallandie £163 6 8 

Donald Fergusone for Middle Haugh of Dalshian, 

and Balnacrie 

James Ferguson for his half of Donavourd 
Janet Fergusone for her liferent land of Dona- 


Alexander Fergusone for Ballizukan . 
(Bellichandie appears as the property of John 

valued at £97.) 

Moulin — 

Robert Fergusone for Pitfourie 
Fergus Fergusone for Balledmont 
Alexander Fergusone for Bellizulein . 

Blairfjowie — 

Robert Fergusone appears as portioner of Butterstailes and 
owner of a quarter of Blackcraigs. 

Kirkmichael — 

Patrick Fergusone for his part of Balmacrochie £24 
Janet Ferguson for her part of Balmacrochie . 36 




Robertson e, 

£66 13 

133 6 





The Earl of Tullibardine appears as owner of Mulzing in Red- 
gorton parish, and Robert Fleming as owner of Moneis 
and Dercullie, valued at £445, in Dull parish. 

1835. In the Valuation of 1835 the following Fergussons appear 
as landowners in Perthshire : — 

Logierait — 

Heirs of General Archibald Ferguson, Wester 

Dunfallandy, £19100 

Lieut. James Muir Ferguson, Middlehaugh . 39 10 

Moulin — 

'Balledmund,' Pitfourie £65 14 4 

rM. Pirie's lands . . , 50 12 

-r ^ Balledmund with Athole's feu 132 16 5 

James Ferguson -j j3^^^^^ ^f p.^j^^j^^,y ^ 53 16 8 

I with Ballechin's feu . . 2 10 

Blairgowrie — 

Miss Ferguson appears as owner of Wester Cally. 

Kirbnichael — 

Adam Ferguson, part of Easter Balmacruchie . £34 

Adam Ferguson, Wester Balintruin . . . 24 
Charles Ferguson, three-fourths Easter Dalna- 

breck 37 17 6 

Alex. Ferguson, part Easter Balmacruchy . 15 

Adam Ferguson, Wester Balmacruchy . . 46 13 4 

The following short extracts are from a MS. collection of notes 
relating to the name Ferguson, made by Alexander Deuchar, 
genealogist, Edinburgh, and now in the possession of John Fergu- 
son, Esq., The Hermitage, Duns : — 

a. From the Particular Register of Sasines, Perth — 

1604. 31 ilf«rcA. Eliz. Syme married to Fergus Ferguson of 
Easter Butteris. 

1619. 12 Dec. Finlay Ferguson of Baledmun married to Grizell 

Bruce, daughter of William Bruce of Pitcarnie. 

1620. 10 June. John Ferguson in Dulschyane. 


h. From the Edinburgh Commissariat Testamentary Records — 

15'84. 27th Juli/. 

Finlay Ferguson of Bally oukan==Isabel Nairne. 
4- 1582 

I I i I J 

Beatrice. Cath. Christian. Isabel. Sibella. 


Section II. 


Extracts from the ' Titles of the old Estate of Berculich.' ^ 

1514. — Charter of Resignation by John Earl of Atholl, in 
favour of Robert Fergusson and Marjorie Sinclar, his spouse, 
dated 8th December 1514 : 

' Omnes et singulas Terras de est Dercole cum pertinent.' 

1539. — Precept of Sasine, John Earl of Atholl, in favour 
of William Fergusson, son of Robert Fergusson, dated 8th 
October 1539 : 

' Omnes et singulas terras de Darcollicht cum insulis lacus 
ejusdem cum pertinen. Necnon omnes et singulas terras de 
Eddirdagwinocht cum superioritate terrarum de Darcollyt 
cum pertinent.' 

1620. — Instrument of Sasine in favour of Robert Fergusson, 
dated 22nd December 1620, and recorded in the Particular 
Register of Sasines for Perthshire, 4th February 1621, pro- 

^ From Appendix to the Record in the case Stewart's Trustees v. 
Robertson. — Session Papers, 1874, No. 67. 



oeeding upon Precept of Clare Constat by the Earl of Atholl 
in favour of the said Robert Fergusson, dated 11th December 

* Omnium et singularum diet, terrarum de Dercullyth cum 
insula et lacu eorundem Molendinis granorum et fullonum 
terris Molendinariis multuris sequelis sylvis nemoribus et suis 
pertment. Necnon omnium et singularum diet, terrarum de 
Eddragwynyt cum pertinen. ut supra jacent.' 

1637. — Feu-Charter by Robert Fergusson of Derculich in 
favour of Adam Reid of Easter tyre, and Cristine Stewart, his 
spouse, dated 18th June 1637. 

From titles of defender James Stewart Robertson : 
'Totas et Integras Terras meas de Lurgan Balnalt et 
Schennwell extendn. ad sex decem solid, et octo denariat. 
terrarum ex antiqui extentus cum tiguriis lie schellingis 
hujusmodi nuncupat. lie Rychois et Rinolatterich omnibus- 
que aliis tiguriis ac lie schellingis ad hujusmodi spectan. ac 
cum communitate lie of fewall feall and divot ac communi 
pastura in omnibus bondis solitis et consuetis ac cum domibus 
edificiis hortis hortisque pomariis edilicatis et edificandis 
singulisque aliis suis partibus pendiculis et pertinentiis ad 
prsedictas terras spectan. et pertinen. cum piscationibus tam 
salmonum quam aliorum piscium in aqua de Taya prout dicte 
terre sex bondantur et limitantur juxta dictam aquam orien- 
taliter occidentaliter ac cum silvis tam quercinis quam aliis 
silvis crescen. et cretura infra bondas omnium prsefatarum 
terrarum jacen. in Comitatu Atholise et infra vicecomitatum 
de Perth illud lie schelling nuncupat. riesparding mihi dicto 
Roberto Fergussone heredibus meis masculis pro pastura 
animalium Manerie de Dunfallandie tantummodo salvis 
exceptis et reservatis.' 

Instrument of Sasine in favour of Francis Reid, eldest son 
and heir-apparent of Adam Reid of Eastertyre, dated 9th 
August, and recorded in the Particular Register of Sasines at 
Perth, 6th September 1637, proceeding upon Feu-Charter 
by Robert Ferguson in his favour, dated 18th July 1637. 

From titles of defender, Mrs. Helen Stewart Hepburn : 

* De et super Totis et Integris Terris de Douchrocene ex- 


tend, ad octo solidat. et octo deniariat Terrarum ex antiqiii 
extentus cum Tiguriis lie sheillingis ad h'mo'j spectan. (Cum 
com'unitate lie of fewall feall) nuncupat. lie Cragandorie 
omnibus aliis Tiguriis lie sheillingis ad h'mo'j spectan. cum 
com'unitate lie of fewall feall and deviot, cum com'uni pastura 
in omnibus bondis solitis et consuetis ac domibus edificiis 
hortis pomariis edificatis et edificandis singulisq. ahis suis 
partibus pendiculis et p'tinen ad prsedictas Terras spectan. et 
p'tinen. cum dimidietate piscationu super lacu de DertuUyt 
ac cum silvis tam quercuus quam aliis silvis crescen. et cretura 
infra bondas omniu prsefataru terrarum jacen. in comitatu 
Atholie infra vicecomitatu de Perth illud lie sheilling nun- 
cupat riesparding dicto Roberto Fergusone heredibus suis 
masculis pro pastura animaliu manerie de Dunfallaney 
tantumodo salvis exceptis et reservatis. 

1667. — Instrument of Sasine in favour of John Fergusson, 
son of the said Robert Fergusson, dated 19th, and recorded 
in the said Particular Register, 26th April 1667, proceeding 
upon a recept of Clare Constat in favour of the said John 
Fergusson by John Earl of AthoU, dated 6th April 1665 : 

' Omnium et singularum dictarum terrarum de Derculich 
cum insula et lacu ejusdem molendinis granorum et fullonum 
terris Molendinariis multuris sequelis silvis nemoribus et suis 
pertinen. Necnon omnium et singularum diet, terrarum de 
Edderaginnich cum pertinen. ut supra jacen.' 

On 3rd January 1688 the Marquis of AthoU granted an 
Instrument of Sasine proceeding upon a charter of apprising, 
in favour of Thomas Fleming of Moness of ' All and haill the 
lands of Derculich . . . lying within the parochin of Dull 
and Sheriffdom of Perth.' 

Excerpt from Report of the Sub-Commissioners for the 
Valuation of the Teinds of the Presbytery of Dunkeld, given 
in by them at Edinburgh, 29th July 1635 : 

' Pa. Logyraitt — 

' Ffindis the landis of Wester Dercullyt pertening to Robert 
ft'ergussone is worth and may pay of zeirlie rent of stok and 
teind of silver deutie . . . vij''^. libs. 


' And pa}ds to the titular of the teindis of silver zeirlie xxv. 
libs., and to the minister for the viccarage teindis v. libs.' 


The following is a memorandum compiled from the papers 
in the Dunfallandy charter-chest, compared with other Dun- 
fallandy papers in the possession of Charles Gibson, Esq., 
Craigdhu, Pitlochrie : — 

1612, April 13th. — Sasine granted in favour of AVilliam 
Fergussone of Dercullich of the ' quattuor libratas terrarum 
de Wester Dunfallandie,' ' dimidietatem de Easter Dun- 
fallandie extend, ad viginti solidat terrarum.' ' Sex libratas 
terrarum de Dalshian,' containing (?) 'quadraginta soli- 
datas terrarum of the Haugh of Dalshian,' etc. This Sasine 
is backed ' William Fergusson of Derculich, of the Ten-pound 
Land of Dunfallandy, and Six-pound Land of Dalshian.' 

The BaiHe who granted Sasine was Adam Ferguson in 
Easter Dunfallandie, and among the witnesses to the recited 
Precept of Sasine, is ' Wmo Fergussone, filio diet. Willielmi 
Fergussone de Bellazecone.' 

1620. — Clare Constat by Marquis of TuUibardine in favour 
of Robert Fergusson of Derculich of the five-pound land of 
Dunfallandy and six-pound land of Dalshian, as nearest 
lawful heir of his father, William Fergusson of Derculich. 

1648. — Charter by Robert Fergusson of Wester Dunfallandy 
in favour of John Fergusson (meumfilium) his lawful son. 

1671, 3rd May. — Contract of Alienation between said 
John Fergusson and Robert Fergusson, his half-brother, and 
Margaret Reid, his spouse. (Sasine following.) 

1674, 23rd November. — Charter by Marquis of AthoU in 
favour of John Fergusson of Dunfallandy. 

1685, 13th April. — Precept of Sasine granted by John 
Fergusson in favour of James Fergusson, his nephew, son of 
his half-brother, Robert Fergusson. John Fergusson held 
the superiority of the Mains of Dunfallandy, in which James' 
father had been infeft, and James made up his title by the 
sasine following on this precept. 


1685, 3rd June. — Instrument of Sasine following thereon, 
dated 18th April, and recorded 3rd June 1685. 

1705, 29th December. — Precept of Clare Constat by Duke 
of Atholl in favour of James Fergusson as heir of his father, 
John Fergusson. 

Instrument of Sasine following, dated 18th January, and 
recorded P. K Perthshire, 8th February 1706. 

1722, 30th April. — Disposition and Assignation of Thirlage 
granted by John Reid of Pitnacree in favour of James 
Fergusson of Wester Dunfallandies. 

1723, 7th October. — Agreement between Duke of Atholl 
and James Fergusson anent personal services on payment of 
£28, 6s. 8d. Scots. He was freed and relieved from hunting, 
watching and warding, and from all services in securing the 
peace of the Highlands. 

1744, 20th October. — Precept of Clare Constat by Duke of 
Atholl in favour of James Fergusson as heir of his father, 
James Fergusson. 

1751. — Marriage Contract between James Fergusson of 
Dunfallandy and Elizabeth Butter of Pitlochry. 

1777, 26th November. — Precept of Clare Constat by Charles 
Robertson in favour of Archibald Fergusson, dated 24th and 
26th November 1777, as heir of his father, James Fergusson. 
(Charles Robertson was Commissioner for the Duke.) 

1777, 15th February. — Trust-Disposition by Archibald 
Fergusson in favour of Henry Butter of Pitlochry, Henry 
Balneaves of Edradour, Adam Fergusson, Minister of Moulin, 
and Edmund Fergusson of Baledmund. 

1816, 27th March. — Disposition granted by said Edmund 
Fergusson in favour of Major-General Fergusson. 

1816, 24th October. — Disposition by Duke of Atholl in 
favour of said General Archibald Fergusson. 

1820, 19th September. — Charter of Confirmation by General 
Fergusson in favour of himself. 

1820, 19th September. — Procuratory of Resignation by 
General Fergusson. 


1827. — Deed of Entail by General Fergusson, by which he 
settled the estate on Archibald Fergusson, his grandson, the 
son of his son, William Fergusson. 

General Fergusson was succeeded by his grandson. 

On 24th January 1739 a contract was entered into between 
Thomas Bisset, Commissar of Dunkeld, and John Butter, 
portioner of Easter Dunfallandies, on the other part, by 
which Bisset undertook to obtain from ' Charles Black, baker 
in Queensferry, as heir, served and retoured to the deceast 
James Fergusson in Easter Dunfallandies,' a disposition of 
' the said James, his wadset right from the late Baron 
Fergusson, of the said Baron's half of Easter Dunfallandies,' 
with the burden always of Elspet Cameron, relict of the 
said James, her liferent use of the half of the said wadset 

On 8th December 1677 a contract was entered into between 
Alexander Reid of Pitnacrie and Fergus Fergusson, portioner 
of Easter Dunfallandies. 

It would thus appear that the lands of Dunfallandy had 
been divided between two branches of the family, and that 
there had been a subdivision of Easter Dunfallandy. The 
estate was again reunited. When Archibald Fergusson suc- 
ceeded in 1777 the family fortunes were at a low ebb, and 
they were restored by his exertions. The following extracts 
from a letter addressed to his mother by the chief when 
serving as a young lieutenant in the ' 3rd Battalion Sepoys, 
Bengal establishment,' are interesting. It was written from 
Jallasore on 3rd October 1780 : — 

' He (Mr. Butter) and the rest of my dear friends in Athol 
will, I make no doubt, take as good care of my affairs in that 
country as possible till I can, if it pleases God, return with a 
fortune to retrieve, if possible, the old remains of Dunfallandy 
and more. At present my prospects are a little distant. 
However, I expect if I have health in this baneful climate, to 
see my native country with a fortune at least sufficient to 
buy off what debts I and my family owe in Scotland. I 
have, thank God, as jQt enjoyed a very good state of health. 
... I am mostly sent on commands at a very great distance 


from the Presidenc}^, and often in an enemy's country, where 
I can have no conveyance for letters to Calcutta. . . . You 
will undoubtedly, before this can reach you, have heard of 
the present war in the Carnatic. Hider Ally, a very power- 
ful Prince, has taken the field some time gone with a very 
large army. He is likewise assisted by the French. I am 
afraid that he will turn out a very formidable enemy to my 
Honble. Masters. He has, since he took the field, met with 
some success. A detachment of 700 Europeans, a company 
of Cadets, and 6000 Sepoys, or country troops, that was sent 
out against 30,000 of his army, that was within 15 miles of 
Fort St. George, were surprised and cut to pieces. For 
further particulars I must refer you to the public newspapers. 
General Sir Ayre Coot, Commander-in-chief of India, leaves 
Calcutta in a few weeks with a detachment of 1000 Europeans, 
3 companies of Artillery, and 8000 Sepoys for the assistance 
of the Madras troops against Hider Ally. And I hope, with 
this assistance, that they will soon extirpate him and his 
whole race out of the Carnatic. We are very quiet in Bengal 
since the commencement of the present war in Europe, but 
Ave will, I daresay, have our own share before all is over. . . . 
I am truly happy that my brother Harry is well, and an 
officer. I hope, before the end of the war, that he will be 
a Lieutenant at least. . . . Jane writes me that my brother 
Tom is still at Mouline School. I hope he is by this time 
far advanced in his education. I need not, my dear mother, 
tell you how necessary it is to keep him close to his education. 
I do assure you that I regret very much the many idle days 
I have spent at the different schools I was at, and beg of you 
to keep him as close as possible at Moulin School till he can 
be sent to some other.' 

The following letter, addressed to the young Laird of Dun- 
fallandy when just beginning his career, from his guardian, 
Mr. Butter, is also interesting : — 

' Corp ARK, Feb. 10, 1777. 

'Dear Archy, — Your favour of the 12th Deer. I received, 
and would have wrote you sooner but expected some par- 
ticular Recommendations for you, which, after waiting for 
these some weeks past, has not come to hand. You may 


believe that any Recommendations I can procure for you will 
be forwarded to you at Bombay with the first opportunity. 
I am in expectation that Professor Fergusson has made 
interest with some of the East India Directors in your 
favours ; and I hope that our worthy friend, Mr. M'Pherson, 
who has been so friendly and obliging, will give you the 
most eftectual recommendations for your interest. I esteem 
myself under particular obligations to him on your account, 
and your grateful thanks ought to be paid him in the best 
manner you can express yourself, and when you can do it 
more effectually it's your duty, which I hope you will be 
always mindful of Whatever directions and advices he is 
pleased to give you I trust that you will follow and endeavour 
to perform. I very much approve of your attending the 
academy during your short stay in England, and hope that 
you will feel the good effects of it, as you had great occasion 
to know something of the several Branches taught there. 
It would have been lucky had you been at the academy a 
year sooner. But you know the encumbered state of your 
affairs prevented it. I beged of Mr. M'Pherson to take the 
trouble of ordering whatever was proper for your Equipment. 
Eighty pounds has been advanced to his order, and what- 
ever more will be necessary I shall advance it in the same 
manner, as it is requisite to fit you out Properly for your 
Destination, whatever the expense may be. I hope it's the 
last that you will burden the small embarassed Estate left 
you, and I flatter my self with the expectation that in time 
you will, under the Blessing of Providence, be able to clear 
the Incumbrances affecting it, and acquire a fortune equal to 
the support of yourself and the helpless family of Brothers 
and Sisters you leave behind. You may be assured that every 
proper attention will be given by me and the other Trustees 
in the management of your affairs in Scotland in order to 
preserve, if possible, your Paternal Inheritance in the view 
of your return with honour to your self and your friends. 
The Trust Deed you will Sign as directed by Mr. MacDonald, 
and send it under Cover to him when you have signed it. 
Your Success in the way of life you are now destined for will 
very much depend on your own behaviour. I know many 


who have gone in your line, and with as little Recommenda- 
tions, that have come home with genteel fortunes. It will 
now take a longer time than formerly, and therefore you 
must not repine at the several slow steps you may perhaps 
go through. Do every thing that you ought to do with the 
spirit of a gentleman resolved to Recommend himself by his 
merit, and be always ready, active spirited, and observing, 
and endeavour by every means in your power to Recommend 
yourself to the notice and Countenance of the Leading 
Persons in the appointment you go to. The warm climate 
in India will be apt to make you lazy and slothfull. Be 
particularly on your guard against that fault, and be always 
active, well mannered and complaisant, and never say a low 
thing, nor do a dirty action, and endeavour to avoide every 
vice. You are to remember that a cowardly, dirty, low 
action will make you despised, and you can never recover 
the Infamy of it. The Different methods of making money 
you will learn of course from the Management of others in 
the like Situations, and you ought to keep yourself within 
the line that is called Lawfull in that Country. 

' It will give me pleasure to hear from you every oppor- 
tunity from India, and write me when you are leaving 
England. I do not grudge to pay Postages. May God bless 
you and give you health and success. You have my best 
wishes, and if you behave properly you will always meet with 
due regard from me and your friends here ; and be assured 
it will always make me happy to hear good accounts of you, 
as I am, Dear Archy, your affect^^- uncle, 

' Henry Butter.' 

The following order shows the young subaltern of 1780, 

thirty-two years later, in command of a battalion in a high 

state of efficiency : — 

' Allahabad, Sept. 8. 

' His Excellency the Commander in Chief arrived here at 
two P.M. on the 2nd current, and on the following morning 
Reviewed the 2nd Battalion of the 7 th Regiment, Com- 
manded by Colonel Archibald Fergusson. After the Review 
His Excellency was pleased to express his approbation of this 
excellent Corps in the following terms : — 



* •' Head Quarters, Allahabad, Srd Septr. 1812. 

' " The appearance and performance of the 2nd Battalion 
7 th Regiment Native Infantry, under the Command of 
Colonel Fergusson, at the Review this morning far exceeded 
even the high expectations which its established character for 
excellence of discipline had led the Commander in Chief to 

' " The state of the arms and accoutrements, the dress and 
appearance of the men, individually and collectively, were 
such as to denote at once the attention that is habitually 
paid to those essential objects in this valuable Corps. 

' " The various movements were executed with an accuracy 
and promptitude that could only be produced by the most 
correct knowledge and constant application of the just prin- 
ciples of formation and movement, joined to the most willing 
attention in Officers and men. 

' " Although the whole of the manoeuvres and the firings 
were executed in a Style which deservedly obtained the 
unqualified approbation of the Commander in Chief, His 
Excellency could not but remark with peculiar commenda- 
tion the uncommon precision and order with which the 
march in echellon to the left, the formation into line on the 
march and subsequent advance, as well as the long con- 
tinued advance in line at the close of the Review, were 

' " The Commander in Chief requests Colonel Fergusson will 
convey His Excellency's thanks to the Officers and men of 
the Battalion under his Command, and that Colonel will 
accept them himself for the successful example he has 
afforded, that the zeal and assiduity of a Commanding 
Officer, intent on his own duty, can maintain a Corps, how- 
ever variously and constantly employed on detachments, 
guards, and escorts, in the highest order and efficiency. 

' " (Signed) G. H. Fagan, Adjt-Genr ' 



' The oldest title-deed in the Dunfallandy Charter-chest is 
a Sasine in favour of William Fergusson of Derculich, of the 
ten-pound land of Dunfallandy and six-pound land of Dalshian, 
dated 1612, which followed upon a Precept of Clare Constat by 
the Marquis of TuUibardine in his favour, and it would appear 
from this that long before that date the lands of Dunfallandy 
had been in the possession of the Fergussons. Part of the 
estate, known as Easter Dunfallandy, belonged to the 
Butters of CoilvouHn until 1751, at which time Mr. James 
Fergusson of Dunfallandy married Miss Elizabeth Butter of 
Pitlochry. The eldest son of this marriage was Major- 
General Archibald Fergusson, who died at Dunfallandy on 
29th November 1834, aged 79 years.' 

Extract from an old East India Paper. 
'Major-General Arch. Fergusson (Bengal Establishment). 
— This officer was appointed a Cadet on the Bengal Establish- 
ment in 1776; Ensign, December 25, 1777 ; Lieut., Septem- 
ber 5, 1778; Capt., July 11, 1795; Major, July 31, 1799; 
Lieut.-CoL, December 26, 1802 ; Col., June 4, 1811 ; Col. 4th 
N. I., November 5, 1812; and Maj.-Gen., June 4, 1814. He 
served in the 3rd N. I. until promoted to a Company, and 
fourteen years as Adjut. He commanded the 2nd battalion 
7th N. I. for several years ; and from 1812 commanded the 
18th Regiment and Station of Barrackpoor, which he left in 
December 1814, on his return to Great Britain. Few Corps 
in the Bengal Army were more employed on field service, on 
frontier duty, and in command of different posts than the 
above during the periods of this Officer's command. He was 
promoted to the rank of Lieut.-General some time after his 
return home. The forehead of the Raeburn portrait of 
General Fergusson hanging on Dunfallandy walls bears the 
mark of the scar, the result of a sabre wound during the 
taking of Seringapatam. Baron Fergusson was chief of his 
clan, and a very exemplary man in every sense of the word. 
He died at Dunfallandy on the 29th November 1834, aged 79 

1 Communicated by Hixgh Mitchell, Esq., Solicitor, Pitlochry. 


Captain Henry Fergusson (a younger brother) also served 
in the Hon. East India Company's service. 

The present proprietrix of Dunfallandy is a grand-daughter 
of General Fergusson. 

James Fergusson of Dunfallandy, who married Elizabeth 
Butter, had issue four sons and four daughters : 

1. Archibald, General Fergusson. 

2. Henry, died unmarried. 

3. Peter, „ „ 

4. Thomas, „ „ 

Jane m. Neil Robertson, and had issue three sons and four 


Elizabeth m. Duncan M'Diarmid of Kynachin.^ 
Major-General Archibald Fergusson had, with other issue, 

two sons : 

1. William Dick Fergusson, who married Margaret, 

daughter of Charles Gibson, Esq., and had issue : 

1. Archibald, 79th Highlanders. 

2. Margaret, now of Dunfallandy. 

2. James. 

The following marriages with daughters of the house of 
Dunfallandy are recorded in the pedigree of the Athole 
Robertsons : — 

Extract fromi Robertsons' Booh. 

* Neil Robertson married Jane, daughter of Baron Fergusson 
of Dunfallandy, chief of his name, by his wife Elizabeth, 
daughter of Henry Butter of Pitlochry and Fascally, and had 
issue three sons and four daughters. The second son, Alex- 
ander, a captain in the 33rd Regiment, married Jane, daughter 
of Lieut.-General Fergusson of Dunfallandy, and had issue 
two sons and three daughters.' 

The following ballad, entitled ' Dunfallandy ' in Mrs. D. 
Ogilvie's Highland Minstrelsy, preserves one version of the 
legend of ' the Bloody Stone.' 

It differs from the narrative so graphically told in 
Mr. R. Fergusson's conmuinication, which we give later on, 

^ Middlehaugh Memo. 


in describing the assassin as a wronged suitor, and in 
making a ' gentler race ' subsequently hold the ' lairdship of 
the mount,' which still belongs to the progeny of Baron Fer- 
gusson. ' The story of Dunfallandy, or " the Bloody Stone," ' 
says the Introduction to the ballad, 'is characteristic as a 
record of the past. Its date lies so far back that the former 
name of the estate has passed away, and the peasants of the 
vicinity are unable to supply any failing links in the tradi- 
tion. . . . The modern house of Dunfallandy is plain and 
unadorned ; it crowns a green terrace above the river Tum- 
mel, and looks do^vn somewhat contemptuously upon the 
low haugh on the level of the stream, where in former days 
dwelt the Laird of " Middlehaugh " whose ruthless stjde of 
courtship has given rise to the ballad.' 


In the good old stirring time 

Celt and Saxon lived at feud. 
Oft their hands in foulest crime 

By that variance were imbrued. 
Passions then were falsely large, 

Love impulsive, fierce desire, 
Hate bequeathed in dying charge 

To the children from the sire. 
Life was cheap and vengeance stern, 

Death familiar presence wore, 
Softer was the Druid's cairn 

Than the warrior's heart of yore. 

Then the heather and the broom 

Clothed from head to foot the strath 
Few were gardens trim in bloom, 

Shaven turf or gravelled path ; 
Poor the crops along the haugh, 

Wild the pastures on the hill, 
And the burn knew not the law 

Of the life-supporting mill. 
Then with Autumn's yellow leaves 

Swept the creagh through the glen, 
And the Saxon's choicest beeves 

Vanished with the Highlandmen. 


Then in pride of silken dress 

Walked the dames of high degree, 
Those of homelier comeliness 

Garbed in simple housewifery. 
Maids untochered, maids were left, 

While the heiress richly dowered, 
Oft was from her parents reft, 

And by outrage overpowered. 
When at deadest of the night. 

On her sleep the suitor broke. 
Bore her oflf in friends' despite. 

Forced into the bridal yoke. 

Yonder house that glaring white, 

Crowns the bank of mossy green, 
Standing like a beacon bright 

Far adown the valley seen ; 
Tame, prosaic, tho' the look 

Of its unromantic pile, 
Yet its walls are as a book 

Where I read of blood and guile. 
Long before its stones were placed. 

Long before our grandsire's sire, 
Yon fair hillock was disgraced 

By a murder strange and dire. 

Vague and garbled is the tale 

Shown by faint tradition's gleam, 
How an heiress ruled the vale 

From that mount above the stream 
How a Laird of Tummelside, 

Dwelling on the farther shore. 
House and holm aspiring eyed 

With an envious heart and sore. 
If he loved the maiden's self. 

Story hath forgot to tell. 
But he loved the maiden's pelf. 

Lands and rental passing well. 

Then he sought a neighbour friend, 

Spake him fair in loving guise,— 
* Unto me assistance lend. 

For I know thee good and wise ! 
Muireal, Queen of Tummelside, 

I have loved with love intense. 
Win that maiden for my bride, 

Kich shall be thy recompense ! 


I am rude of speech and look, 

Thou hast clerkly wit at will ; 
Thou art sweet-voiced as a brook, 

I am mute as yonder hill.' 

Forth went Donald, soft of tongue, 

To the lady of the mount. 
And his suit auspicious sprung 

From his breast's o'er- welling fount. 
Words of love, her face so fair, 

Words of hope, so kind her tone, 
That the youth's impassioned prayer 

Wooed her for himself alone ; 
Wooed and won her, all forgot 

How the silent suitor waited. 
Till was tied the marriage-knot. 

And his ardent passion sated. 

One forgot — the pleasure-crowned, 

One remembered — the betrayed, 
Night and day he watched the mound, 

Hidden in a bushy glade ; 
Crouching, by a huge grey stone. 

Armed, he breathless long had stood. 
When the bridegroom passed alone 

From the dwelling to the wood. 
Proud of heart and step he came, 

Gloating on the peaceful scene, 
While his foe took deadly aim 

From the covert's rocky screen. 

Did the widow wail and shriek ? 

Did she rouse her vassal kern ? 
Ah ! too oft is woman weak. 

When her ire should fiercest burn. 
Mayhap 'twas a wanton heart. 

Mayhap terror crazed her mood, 
Mayhap force might have its part 

On her helpless womanhood. 
Ere the evening's twilight died, 

Ere the corpse was stiff and cold, 
Ere the murderer's hand was dried, 

She was wedded in its hold ! 

Now oppressor and oppressed 

Both have gone to their account, 
And a race of gentler breast 

Hold the lairdship of the mount. 


Rooted up as noxious weeds 

Have the traces passed away, 
Nor like many barbarous deeds, 

Chant they this in barbarous lay. 
Now on Tummelside the farm 

Thickly has its produce sown. 
You may sleep and fear no harm 

E'en beside ' the Bloody Stone.' 

So it is with human deeds. 

Too ephemeral to last, 
Bounteous loves and lustful greeds 

Intermingle in the past. 
So confused the records stand 

Of this crime-traditioned glen. 
When the Gael had Ishmael's hand 

Raised against his fellow-men ; 
Nought remaineth but the name, 

Spectre-like that clings to thee, 
Handing down thy gory fame. 

Hill of blood, Dunfallandy, 

From the good old stirring time ! 

The Stone beliind wliicli the assassin lurked, or on which the 
victim Avas resting when struck down, is still shown at Dun- 
fallandy, and there are existing near the house the remains 
of a very old chapel, which appears in the twelfth century 
under the form Dunfolantyn. It is the burying-place of the 
Fergussons of Dunfallandy. 

The monument there erected to General Fergusson bears- 
the family crest and coat of arms, and has this inscription : — 











Dunfallandy appears in the Legend of St. Triduana, recorded 
in the Aberdeen Breviary, which narrates that Triduana along 



with two other virgins led a heremitical life in a desert place 
at Rescoby in Forfarshire. The tyrant Nectanevus, prince of 
that neighbourhood, pursued her, whereupon she fled to 
Dnnfallad in Athole. There his ministers coming to her 
and telling her that the beauty of her eyes had attracted the 
prince, she plucked them out and gave them to them. Tri- 
duana then devoting herself to prayer and fasting in Lestal- 
ryk (Restalrig) in Laudonia, passed into heaven. 


There is also facing the monument to General Fergusson a 
very fine sculptured stone ; the notice of which, given in 
Stuart's Sculptured Stones of Scotland, is as follows : — ' The 
Cross at Dunfallandy, locally called " The Priests* Stone," is 


erected at the ruins of an old chapel near Killiecrankie. It 
is of black slate, about six inches in thickness. The figures 
are sculptured in relief, except the tools at the bottom, which 
are incised, and may be a recent addition, although there are 
similar figures on the stone at Abernethy which have no 
appearance of being of more recent date than the other 
sculptures on the stone.' The Dunfallandy stone shows on 
one side a beautiful Celtic cross, with many figures of 
animals, angels, etc., in compartments on either side. On 
the other side is a strange device of serpents, a small cross, 
two throned figures, an equestrian figure, the crescent sign, 
the spectacle sign, etc., and the incised tools. 

The chapel of ' Dunfoluntyn ' was one of the five chapels 
belonging to the kirk of Logierait (anciently Logymached), 
which was one of the eleven kirks pertaining to the Abbey of 

Over the porch of Dunfallandy House is a stone with the 
inscription : — 


Archd. Fergusson. 

The present house was built by the General in 1818 to 
take the place of the old House of Dunfallandy, which was 
thatched, and had been burnt down. 


Section III 


Memorandum compiled from papers belonging to Mrs. S. R. 
Fergusson (of Middlehaugh). 

The earliest of the Middlehaugh papers is a disposition in 
1628 by Kobert Fergusson of Derculich, with consent of 
Agnes Dundas his spouse, in favour of Alexander Stewart, of 
the lands of Balnacree in the tenandry of Logierait, and of 
the lands commonly called Balnasams (?) of Easter Der- 
culich, Middill and Nether thairof 

On 10th February 1641 Patrick Fergussone alias M'Adi, 
underwritten (or Dow M'Clerie ?), portioner of Dalshian, and 
hereditary feuar of the other lands, in implement of his part 
of a contract of marriage between Donald Fergussone, alias 
M'Adi, his eldest son, and Cristina Stewart, daughter of John 
Stewart of Shierglas, granted a precept of sasine in fee of the 


lands of Middill Haugh of Dalshian, and of the half merk 
land of Ballintaple (?). 

In 1677 sasine was given to Alexander Stewart of Urchle- 
beff and Alexander Stewart in Rochsoles, of the lands of 
Middlehaugh of Dalshian, following upon a contract dated 
18th April 1677, by which Donald Fergusson, portioner 
of Middlehaugh of Dalshian, with consent of Alexander 
Fergussone, his son, wadset and alienated these lands. 

In 1691 the Duke of Atholl ratified and confirmed a 
disposition of these lands made by Donald Fergusson, por- 
tioner of Dalshian, and Alexander Fergusson, his son, in 
favour of Mr. George Stewart, formerly in Urquhilbeg and 
now in Dalschian, dated 29th and 30th March 1686. 

On 19th January 1706 sasine was given to Isobell Fergus- 
sone, spouse of Mr. George Stewart, portioner of Dalshian, in 
security of her bond of provision, of the lands of Middill 
Haugh of Dalshian, Finlay Fergussone of Pitfourie being 
the bailie upon the occasion, and there being among the 
witnesses Finlay Fergussone in Cull of Balyoukan, and 
Finlay Fergussone, lawful son to the said Finlay Fergussone 
in Cull of Balyzukan. 

On 7 th November 1711 the Duke of Atholl granted a 
charter of dare constat in favour of James Stewart, portioner 
of Dalshian, as son and heir of his father George Stewart, in 
the lands of Middlehaugh of Dalshian ; one of the witnesses 
being James Fergusson of Dunfallandie. 

On 17 th February 1719 sasine was given of these lands in 
favour of Finlay Robertson and Isobel Young, his spouse, as 
creditors under a heritable bond. 

On 14th March 1720 sasine was given, in terms of the 
Duke of Atholl's precept of 1711, to James Stewart, 'James 
Fergussone of Dunfallandeis ' acting as Baillie, and Laurence 
Fergusone in Pitcastle being one of the witnesses. 

On the same day, 14th March 1720, sasine was given to 
Robert Fergussone in Croft -in-loan, in terms of a disposition 
in his favour by James Stewart of Middlehaugh, of the same 


date, of ' All and haill the Town and Lands of Middlehaugh of 
Dalshian, being a sixteen shilling eightpenny land of old 
extent, with the haill outfields, etc.'; one of the Avitnesses 
being Finlay Fergussone in Coiill of Ballyoukan. 

It does not appear from the titles whether this Robert 
Fergusson was the representative or a relative of Donald 
and Alexander Fergusson, the previous proprietors of Middle- 
haugh of Dalshian. 

On 9th January 1722 the Duke of AthoU as superior 
ratified and confirmed the disposition of 1720 by Stewart to 
Robert Fergusson of 'AH and haill the town and lands of 
Middlehaugh of Dalshian, being a merk land of old extent, 
with these six Ridges, commonly called the Ackers, being a 
fourtie penny land extending in all to a sixteen shilling eight- 
penny land, with the haill outfields thereto belonging, and 
with the shealing of Rieinluig and other grassings, shealings, 
houssis, biggings, yeardis, mosses, muirs, meadows, woods as 
well of oak as of other woods growing or to grow on the said 
lands, fishings as well of salmond as of other fishes upon the 
water of Tummel, and with the teinds both great and small, 
and haill other pertinents within the parish of Logierait, 
regality of Atholl, and shire of Perth.' 

On 2nd June 1729, David Master of Stormont, titular of 
the teinds of Logierait, disponed to Robert Fergusson, now 
heritable proprietor of Middlehaugh, the teinds of his lands. 

In an agreement dated 21st December 1734, between 
Archibald Butter of Pitlochrie and the heritors within his 
miln thirll, there appear among the heritors, Finlay Fergus- 
son of Baledmund, Finlay and Robert Fergussons of Middle- 
haugh, and James Fergusson of Pitfourie. 

On 21st November 1735, there was registered by Alexander 
Fergusson, Younger of Ballyoukan, as procurator for the 
Duke of Atholl, Robert Fergusson of Middlehaugh and others, 
an agreement, dated at Dunkeld and Killievoulin, 12th and 
23rd September 1727, between the Duke of Atholl and other 
heritors, including Robert Fergusson of Middlehaugh, and 
Archibald Butter of Pitlochrie, proprietor of the mill thereof, 
' to which the ten pound Lands of Dalshian is restricted,' as 


to the erection of a new mill at Killievoulin. Among the 
witnesses were Finlay Fergussone of Baledmund, and Alex- 
ander Fergusson of Balyoukan. 

On 17 th December 1753 the Duke of Atholl granted a pre- 
cept of dare constat for infefting Finlay Fergusson of Middle- 
haugh as heir of his father, Robert Fergusson of Middlehaugh. 

On 30th January 1755 sasine was given to the said Finlay 
Fergusson in terms of the Duke of AthoU's precept of 1753, 
James Fergusson in Middlehaugh acting as Baillie ; and on 
the same day sasine was given in favour of Elspet M'Lagan, 
spouse of the said Finlay Fergusson (second daughter of 
William M'Lagan of Donavourd), in security of the provision 
for her in their marriage contract, dated at Donavourd, I7th 
December 1753, to which one of the witnesses was James 
Fergusson in Middlehaugh, who now acted as her procurator, 
Avhile Finlay Fergusson was represented by David Fergusson 
in Middlehaugh as his Baillie. 

From an inventory of Middlehaugh papers, other than the 
above, it appears from their contract of marriage, dated 8th 
January 1748, that Janet Fergusson, second daughter of 
Robert Fergusson of Middlehaugh, married John Douglas in 

The father — James Fergusson — of the late Samuel R. 
Fergusson of Middlehaugh, after returning from the West 
Indies, built the present house about eighty years before the 
property was sold after his son's death in 1892. He married 
a Miss M'Diarmid of Kynachan, whose mother was a sister 
of General Fergusson of Dunfallandy. Mr. Samuel R. 
Fergusson married Janet, daughter of Hugh Watson of 
Keillor, whose (Mrs. Fergusson's) great-grandmother on the 
father's side, Janet Ferguson, was a sister of Professor 
Adam Ferguson, and daughter of the minister of Logierait. 

The tradition of the Middlehaugh family does not record 
any other connection between their family and that of Dun- 
fallandy, than that through the M'Diarmids, which would 
rather point to the earlier and later Fergussons of Middle- 
haugh being of different origin.^ 

^ But see the Minister of Moulin's MS. 



The descent of the estate of Middlehaugh, from the fore- 
going papers and a memorandum evidently jotted from them, 
appears to have been as follows : — In 1677 it passed from the 
Fergusson famity who had hitherto possessed it, and who 
were probably cadets of Dunfalland}^, to Stewarts, one of 
whom, however, married an Isobel Fergusson. In 1720 it 
was acquired from the Stewarts by Kobert Ferguson. In 
1753 Kobert was succeeded by his son Finlay, who married 


Elspet M'Lagan. The memorandum contains the name of 
an Adam Fergusson, with the date 1763. He was probably 
the father of James Fergusson of Middlehaugh (1819), who 
married Elizabeth M'Diarmid, and had issue two sons and 
two daughters. The eldest son, James Mure Fergusson, 
captain in the 42nd Highlanders, died unmarried, and Avas 
succeeded by his brother, Samuel Robert Fergusson, who 


married Janet Watson, and died in 1891, leaving two sons, 
Samuel Mure and Hugh Archibald, and three daughters, 
Charlotte, married to David Davidson (of the family of Muir- 
house), Margaret Rose, and Elizabeth Amy. 

The eldest son, Samuel Mure Fergusson, married a daughter 
of Francis Offley Cramp of Beckenham, and has issue two 
sons— 1. Neil Mure ; 2. Nigel Hugh. 

In connection with the Dunfallandy and Baledmund 
pedigrees, it is interesting to note that Mr. Balneaves of 
Edradour, great-great-grandfather to Mrs. Fergusson of 
Middlehaugh, had, with other issue, two daughters, one of 
whom married Mr. Fergusson of Baledmund, their daughter 
again marrying Mr. Fergusson of Ballyoukan. The other 
married Mr. Butter of Pitlochry, and had with other issue 
a daughter, Elizabeth, who married James Fergusson of 
Dunfallandy. Their daughter Catherine married Duncan 
M'Diarmid, and her daughter Elizabeth married James Fer- 
gusson of Middlehaugh. 

There is an old chapel at Dalshian, mentioned by Pennant 
in 1772, on the summit of a little hill in an area of a hundred 
and sixty feet diameter, called St. Catherine's chapel, now a 
ruin. On the accessible side of the hill is a ditch of great 
depth. This place seems to have been a British (or Pictish) 
fort, and in after times the founder of this chapel might prefer 
the situation on account of the security it might afford to 
the devotees in a barbarous age. (Logierait Parish Maga- 
zine.) Its original Gaelic name was * the fort of the night 
watchers.' This chapel was the burying-place of the Middle- 
haugh family, and was retained, with about three acres of 
wooded knoU, when the estate was sold. 


Section IV 


Memorandum on the Baledmund Papers. 

The Baledmund charter-chest contains a large number of 
papers not only directly connected with the fortunes of the 
Baledmund family, but also throwing light on the history of 
other Perthshire Fergussons, especially those of Derculich 
and Dunfallandy. 

The earliest paper in which a Fergusson is concerned 
appears to be an original charter, dated 2nd October 1510, 
by which William Scott of Bal weary disponed to John Fer- 
guson of Downy his lands of Glendowok, in warrandice of the 
lands of Downy, which are described as including ' Over 
Downy, Middill Downy Bordland, Edinarnochty, Cultolony, 
Stronymuk, Faynzeand, Inneridrie with the mill, Bynnanmor, 
Bynnan-beg, Kandevoyoch, Kerauch, Cowthill, and Dalmonge, 
cum partibus de Pitbrane Glengaisnet and Glenbeg.' [In 
1672 these lands of Downy appear among those granted to 
the Duke of Athole by charter ratified in Parliament, and as 


having passed ' upon the resignation of John Fergusone of 

The next is one in which, in the time of King James v., 
Robert Fergusson of DercuHch asserts his right to resti- 
tution of certain documents. It is in the form of Letters 
under the Signet charging one James Halkerston to dehver 
the writs in question, and proceeds upon the narrative that 
Robert Fergusoun of Derculy was air and successor to 
umquhile Robert Fergusoun of Doun}^ his brother's son ; 
that his said brother's son had in keeping, in a kist in the 
charterhouse of St. Johnstoun (Perth), the evidents under- 
written, viz. : — 

A charter of confirmation under the great seal of the lands 
and barony of Cluny (Downie ?) made to William Scot of 
Balwery, knicht by resignation of Robert Cunningham of 

A charter of confirmation of John Fergusoun of the lands 
of Downy made by the said laird of Balwery. 

A charter of our most noble predecessor's King Robert of the 
lands of Cluny and Kynnard granted to Adam Fergusoun. 

A charter of confirmation of John Fergusoun of the lands 
of Downy Glenganot, Pitbrane, Kynnard. 

A charter of the barony of Douny given by the said Laird 
of Balwery to John Fergusoun. 

A charter of Robert Fergusoun of the lands of haugh (?) 
of Cluny. 

A charter of John Fergusoun of the lands of the of 


A charter of the brae of Ckmy made by Fergusoun. 

A charter of John Fergusoun of the lands of Culterlony. 

A charter of our most noble predecessor King John to 
Adam Fergusoun of the lands of Cluny. 

A precept of sasine of the barony of Douny given by the 
said Laird of Balweary to John Fergusoun. 

An instrument of sasine of the lands of Douny of John 

An instrument of resignation of Douny made by the pro- 
curators of Polmaise to Balwery. 

An instrument of sasine of . 


An instrument of the lands of Downy to William Scot of 

A precept of of the barony of Downy. 

A procuratory of Resignation of the Laird of Polmaise to 
the Laird of Balwery. 

A procuratory made of the half of Downy be John Astray (?) 
to Balwery. 

A precept of sasine of Robert Fergusoun of the lands of 

An instrument of sasine of ester and wester 

An instrument of resignation of the lands of Downy, . . . 

An obhgation of ... to Fergusoun of xl (?) sterling. 

Out of the which kist umquhile Patrick Butter of 

spouse of umquhile Janet Lindsay, ' spulzeit and tuke ye 
saidis evidentis and diveris sums of money,' and she granted, 
the having of the said evidents in keeping in the burgh of 
Perth after she was examined thereupon by Master John 
Scot as his hand-writ testifies, and she being now deceased, 
James Halkerston, her spouse, gat and withholds from the 
said Robert Fergusoun the said evidents pertaining to him. 

The letters are dated at Edinburgh, 9th April, in the 25th 
year of the Reign. 

1588. On 12th December 1588 a tack was granted by 
John, Earl of Athole, of the lands of Pitzir to Thomas Fer- 
gusson, presently occupying the same by himself and his sub- 

1611. The original Feu-charter of Baledmund is dated 
17th December IGll, and by it Sir Archibald Stewart of 
Synnart, knight, conveys all and whole the forty-shilling 
land of Baledmund with the three pendicles of Glenbrerachan 
on the east part of Edraharvie, called the funny runrig of 
Tomquhollan, and other two pendicles called the east part of 
the Glen, vulgarly the east end of the Glen, and the shielings 
called Ruichragan, Ruichcraicvreckie, and the half of Rui- 
baslintuirk, and siclike all and whole the twenty-six shilling 
eight-penny land of the west end of the Haugh of Dalshian, 
with the oaken woods, salmon fishings, etc., within the tenandry 
of Logierait, in favour of Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund, his 


heirs and assignees. Sasine was taken on 16th January 

1616. On 16th December 1616 William Earl, of Tulli- 
bardine, as superior, granted to Robert Fergussoun, son and 
apparent heir of umquhile William Fergussoun of Derculich, 
his heirs and successors, the ward and non-entry maills, and 
also the marriage of the said Robert Fergussone, etc. 

1627. In June 1627 a receipt is granted to Fergus Fer- 
gussoun of Baledmund. 

1631. On 11th May 1631 Fergus Fergusson, lawful son 
and heir, at least apparent heir of Finlay Fergusson of 
Baledmund, granted two charters (one a me, and one cle 
one) of the two-merk land of the west part of the haugh of 
Dalshian, in favour of Duncan Fergusson in Balziecone his 
heirs and assignees. 

In April 1632 there is a receipt granted in favour of Fergus 
Fergussone of Balledmond for the taxation of the forty-shiling 
land of Balledmond, and the two-merk land of west end of the 
haugh of Dalshian, for the years 1621-1629 and 1631. 

In December 1634 there is a similar receipt. 

Of date 8th September 1638 there is an inventory of the 
writs of the lands of Mulling, in which the following deeds 
are mentioned : — 

An old service of umquhile Duncan Fergussone eldest son 
of umquhile James Fergussone his father of the lands of 
Mulling, 27th April 1568. 

A charter by James, king of Scotland, comprising a grant 
by William Blair of Ardblair of the lands of Mulling to 
Duncan Fergussone, William Blair's writ being dated 15th 
July 1446. 

A deed dated July 1546. 

A sasine granted by James Fergussone as heir ... to 
umquhile Fergus Duncanson his grandsire, to the said lands, 
dated 13th May 1529. 

An instrument, apparently an acquittance, by George, Earl 
of Erroll, for the ward of Duncan Fergussone of Mullin, dated 
22nd September 1568. 

A judicial Bond whereby Christian Duff, sjDouse of David 


Fergussone of MuUin surrenders her liferent of the said 
lands in favour of Duncan Fergusson her son, dated April 

Our Sovereign Lord's gift of the non-entry of the said lands 
to John Fergusson, 21st July 1632. 

Procuratory of Sasine in favour of Duncan Fergusson now 
of Mulling as heir to James Fergusson his grandsire, 5th 
December 1632. 

Sasine following thereon. 

An instrument conveying right to the teinds of the said 

A contract of wadset between Duncan Fergusson and 
James M'Duff, dated 28th February 1633. 

1642. On 1st May 1642 the Duke of Atholl granted a 
precept of dare constat in favour of Fergus Fergusson as 
heir to his father, Finlay Fergusson. 

1644. A receipt was granted by William Moray, younger 
of Ochtertyre, in name of Agnes Moray his sister, granting 
him to have received from Robert Fergusson of Dunfallandie 
the sum of 78 merks, and that for his proportion of two 
troopers' horses, the one for this year, and the other for the 
year 1643. At Logierait, 26th-1644. 

1651. Of date 3rd February a letter relating to a bill is 
extant, signed ' John ffergusone.' 

1669. On 25th April 1669 John Drummond of Pitkellonie 
grants a receipt in favour of Fergus Fergusson for a sum of 
money (amount lost through paper being torn) as his pro- 
portion of money imposed, and due to Drummond as leader 
of a horse (troop (?) ) of his Majesty's Militia for his lands in 
Mullion parish. 

1680. Findla Fergusone of Balledmond appears among the 
vassals to whom a missive letter is addressed by the Marquis 
of Atholl, on 31st January 1680, in reference to certain 
oppressions and encroachments upon his vassals and tenants 
in Muling parish. 

1681. On 19th May 1681 the Marquis of Atholl granted 
a precept of clave constat in favour of Finlay Fergusson as 


nearest and lawful heir of Fergus Fergusson his father, and 
Finlay Fergusson his grandfather, for infefting him in Baled- 
mund and the west end of the Haugh of Dalshian. 

1703. The following letter of 1703 addressed to Finlay 
Ifergusson of Baledmund is interesting : — 

DuNKELL, May ye I4t/i, 1703. 

' Assured Friend, — I desire your presence at this place on 
Munday the seventeenth instant at eleven o'clock to attend 
the funerall of John Marquis of AthoU my dear father bring- 
ing alongst with you a pretty man out of each two merk land 
with his best arms and cloaths. — I am your assured friend, 


By John, Duke of Atholl. 

1707. 'Thes are allowing Finlay Fergussone of Baled- 
mund ffredome in our fforest for four pairs of horses, and 
discharges any of our Iforesters to medle with them, and this 
shall be his warrand. Given under our hand. At Blaire Castle 
the 23rd of Junii 1707 years. Atholl.' 

1711. On 12th September 1711 a disposition was granted 
by Janet Ferguson, apparent heiress of Finlay Fergusson her 
father's brother, with consent of James Fergusson of Pitfourie, 
her husband, to Finlay Fergusson of Pitfourie, his heirs and 
assignees, of Baledmund, and the said two merks in the haugh 
of Dalshian, and on 19th November the Duke of Atholl 
granted a precept in her favour as nearest and lawful heir of 
the deceased Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund, her uncle. 


The following papers cast an interesting light on the 
social condition of Athole and the fortunes of the unfortunate 
Highland gentlemen who followed Brigadier Mackintosh 
across the Forth, and were taken prisoners at Preston. 

LoGiERAiT, June 20th, 1714. 

* Sir, — My Lord Duke came to Dunkeld last night. I 
immediately received an express from His Grace ordering me 
to acquaint you that His Grace is to be this day at twelve 


o'clock here, and that you and your tenants meet him here 
in order to hear sermon. I am, sir, your humble serv*. 



' Baledmund's Deposition, anno 1716/ (original on stamped 


'Finlay fFerguson late of Mulling in that part of Great 
Brittaine called Scotland, maketh oath, that upon the late 
Kebellion in Scotland this Dep* was ordered by his master 
the Duke of AthoU with many others his vassals, to come 
armed to the castle of Blaire where his Grace then resided, 
in order as this dep* believes, to defend the country and his 
own person ag* the Lord Marr and the party he was then 
gathering, and this dep^ in obedience to his s'^ master's com- 
mands went armed to this s^ castle of Blaire accordingly. 
That presently after the Marquis of Tullibardine and the Lord 
Marr sent out their proclamations and fiery crosses ordering 
this dep^ and others of that clan under paine of fire and 
sworde to repair to their camp, which was then at Mulling, 
the place where this dep* lived. That notwithstanding these 
threats of the Lord Marr, this dep* continued firme in his duty 
to his said master the Duke of Atholl, and staid with His 
Grace until the Lord Marr removed his camp from Mulling 
to Logyrait, at which time the Marquess of Tullibardine came 
with a party of horse in the night time to Blair Castle where 
this deponent was, and carryed this dep* and many others 
away prisoners to Logyrait, and from thence both this dep* 
and those who were made prisoners with him were carryed 
to Perth with Marr's army, where Tullibardine offered this 
dep^ a Lieutenant's commission, which this dep^ refused to 
accept; and offered and endeavoured to goe home, upon 
which the said Marquis threatned that if this dep^ made such 
attempt to make this dep^ a publick example to all the 
army ; that from Perth this dep* was forced to goe over the 
Firth with Mackintosh, and soe forward to Preston. But all 
the whole way this dep* utterly refused to doe any duty 
whatsoever that belongs to a soldier. Notwithstanding many 
offers were made to prevaile upon this dep* soe to doe : and 


this dep^ saith that Patrick Robertson, Rob* Steward, and 
Alexander Fergusson, who this dep* is informed are now 
prisoners at Chester, and are very material witnesses to prove 
the premises, as this dep* verily believes. 

Jur. 25th, die JaW": 1715. 
Coram Tho. Bury. 

Discharge. The Keeper of the Jayle of Lancaster to 
Baledmund, 1715/16. 

' These may certifie all officirs, civill and military, and 
others whom it may concerne, that the bearer hereof ffenlow 
fiergusson of the Parish of Mulling and County of Perth in 
North Britain, Received his tryall at Liverpool Assizes in the 
County of Lanca^ where he was found by the verdict of the 
court Not Guilty of the Treason whereof he stood accused, 
and was accordingly discharged the Court upon payment of 
his fFees, which has been since done accordingly. As witness 
my hand the 22nd day of february 1715/6. 

' Wm. Bridsworth, 

' Keeper of his Maf^^'^ Gaole the 

Castle of Lancaster.' 

Undocqueted. [Com. Lane] 

' I, Charles Rigby, Esq'', one of his Majestie's Justices of the 
Peace and Quor"^ in and for the said county do hereby 
certifie whom these may concern That the Bearer ffenlow 
fferguson, a Scottisman (after having been some time a 
prisoner in the Castle of Lancaster, his Majestie's gaol in and 
for the said county, on suspition of High Treason in joining 
or aiding the Rebells lately in arms in the said County) 
Hath since that been removed to Liverpoole in the sd. 
county, and on his Tryal there before his Majestie's Justices of 
Oier and Terminer in that Behalfe appointed for the said 
offense was duly acquitted thereof and discharged from his 
Imprisonment, and being now on his journey to Mulling in 
the County of Perth in North Britain. He ought to be 
permitted quietly to pass on his way to Mulling aforesaid. 


He behaving himself as becometh. Given under my Hand 
and Seal at Lancaster in the said County the Twenty-second 
day of febry. Anno Regni Regis Georgii Magnae Britanniae, 
etc., secundo, Annoque dom. 1715 :6. 

'Cha: Rigby.' 

By John, BuJce of Atholl, Lord-Lieut^- and Sheriff 
principall of Perthshire. 

'Whereas ffinlay fferguson of Baledmund having been 
tryed for high treason at Liverpool in England, and acquitted 
by the judges there, We therefore take off and loose all 
arrestments laid on his effects and Rents Avithin our Regality 
of Atholl, and ordains any of the officers to intimate the same 
to the Tennants and others concerned. Signed at Hunting- 
tower, the 8th of March 17 16. Atholl.' 

By John, Duke of Atholl. 

' Whereas there was an arrestment at our Instance layd on 
the Rents of Balleyoukan's lands till we were satisfied for 
his undutifulness to us during the late Rebellion, These are 
loosing the said Arrestments and allowing the Tennants of 
the said lands to pay their respective duties due at Martin- 
mas last to Katherine Butter his spouse. Given at our 
house of Dunkeld, the 4th of December 1716 years. 

' Atholl.' 

There is at Baledmund an old Irish bible, with the following 
inscription in Finlay Fergusson's writing : — ' This Irish bible 
was gifted to me by John SteAvart, writer, Edinburgh, ninth 
day of March 1716, as I came home from Liverpool in 
England, and Tryed therein on suspicion of High Treason, 
the twenty-sixth day of January one thousand seven hundred 
and sixteen years. Finlay Fergusson.' 

1721. On 14th April 1721 a contract was made between 
the Duke of Atholl and Finlay Fergusson of Baledmund, 
proceeding upon the Act 1 Geo. i., entituled, 'An Act for 
the more effectually securing the peace in the Highlands,' 
whereby the personal services of hosting, hunting, watching, 
and warding were commuted for a money payment. 


1723. Alexander Fergusson of Bally oukan is charged on 
19th December 1723 to make payment of a mason's account. 
The receipt on the back is in favour of Thomas Fergusson 
now of Bally oukan, eldest lawful son and heir to the within 
designed Alexander Fergusson, and is dated 29th February 

1731. By feu-contract, dated 10th February 1731, Finlay 
Fergusson of Baledmund acquired from the Duke of AthoU 
the lands of Drum of Pitlochry. 


1. The Summons hy the Marquis of Tullihardine forfeited 

for his share in the previous rising, and elder brother 
of the then Duke of AthoU. 

' Gentlemen, — Yesterday I had the honour to arrive here 
in company with his Royall Highness the Prince, to assert 
his Majesty's imdoubted right, and as you have ever con- 
tinued to act as Loyall subjects and Lovers of your country. 
It leaves me no room to doubt that you will on this occasion 
manifest to the world your zeall and attachment to the royal 
family by appearing immediatly in arms Avith all the men 
you can get together to join the royall standard. I shall be 
heartily sorry that your delay to appear should oblige me 
by his Highness' orders to use more disagreeable methods. 
Therefore I hope you '11 by no means faill to join our Army 
with all speed, and I am, your most affect, hu" serv*, 

' Atholl.' 

From the Camp at Blair, 
the 1st Sept. 1745. 

2. Letter evidently from Mr. Adam Fergusson, Minister of 

Logierait Unaddressed, 

Looierait, 22nd June 1746. 

' James Fergusson yesternight seized by a party and sent 
this day to Perth, the Commissar is going there to-morrow 
early, and wishes you or your agent (?) or both to goe along 
to try what can be done for his Liberation and the recovery 


of Elspet Camron's cattle carried off with him. I am, health 
serving, to be early with the Commissar, and expecting you 
at his house, am, Sir, your most humble servant, 

' Adam Fergusson.' 

Letters indorsed ' Missives, Baron Fergusson to Baledmund,' 
and addressed — ' Mr. ffinlay ffergusson of Balledmen, 
near Dunkeld, North Britain.' 


' I am at present in a bad state of health. I have been 
blooded but am no better, and a feaver is threatned, which if 
it be sent will be a heavy affliction in this miserable confine- 
ment. Yesterday I was served with Inditement, and am to 
be tryed the 9th of next month. I have given my sollicitor 
a list of witnesses to prove my behaviour in the unhappy 
tragedy, and that I had no arms, the witnesses are the two 
James Fergussons, who 1 hope you will further to be here in 
time as my Life is at stake. Pray apply to the Eeverend 
Mr. Adams for a certificate of my age, which will be a great 
mean to save my life. — I am, with great esteem, Sir, your 
very humble serv*- James Fergusson.' 

Carlisle Castle, 21st August 1746. 

' Loving Sir, — These are to acquaint you I am recovered 
a little of my sickness. You '11 send here James Ferguson, 
son of William Ferguson in the Mains of Dunfallandie, and 
James Ferguson, son to Robert Ferguson in Ball Luck, to 
witness I never beer'd arms. Our Traylls comes on ye ninth 
of September, for which they must not lose time. My Lawers 
are Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Parrot ane Englishman, and Mr. 
M'Lude my sollicitor. I received from Mr. M'Lude halfe a 
guinea, being scant of money. Therefore you are to remember 
him and oy*" things if he calls for doing me service I want 
the Minister's baptism for my age, and how long since I came 
from the scooll. No more, as I am your assured friend, 

' James Fergusson.' 

Carlisle, 2oth Aug. 1746. 


Letter indorsed 'Missive Ro. M'Leod, Writer, and Baron 
fferguson, about the Baron when in Carlisle Prison in 

Edinr., 2oth Aug. 1746. 

' Sir, — The enclosed comes from your friend and namesake 
James Ferguson, son to Baron Ferguson, now prisoner at 
Carlisle, and against whom a Bill of Indictment has been 
found, and who is to be tryed upon the 9th of next month. 
When his tryall was intimate to him he made choice of 
me for his soUicitor, and as he has some Defences which, if 
proven, may happen to save his life, he has desired that two 
witnesses whom he names in his letter to you may be cited 
for him to prove his defences. In order to their being cited 
I here send you a subpoena and two coppies. The manner 
of citing them is by presenting the subpoena and delivering 
them the printed coppie and a shilling, and informing them 
that they must answer the subpoena under the penalty of 
£100 ster. He requests that you will remove any difficulty 
or scruples the witnesses may have against going, and that 
you will furnish them with what may be necessary to carry 
them to Carlisle, which can be no great sum, and when they 
come there you '11 order them to call for me or for Mr. 
Andrew Burnett, writer to the Signet, at Mrs. Pattinson's, at 
the sign of the George, or if they come soon here to call for 
either of us at our houses here, which any street cadie will 
direct them to. I have writt to Peter M'Glashan, vintner in 
Blair of AthoU, concerning some witnesses to be cited for a 
neighbour of his, and if you and he can cause one man serve 
all your subpoenas it will be the best and properest way, as 
it 's proper the person who serves the subpoenas should goe 
to Carlisle. You'll return me the printed (?) subpoenas, if 
possible, by this express. As your friend is like wayes under 
age it were proper that a certificate of his age were sent, 
signed by the Session Clerk of the parish where he was born, 
as I presume his name would be included in the Register of 
baptisms of that parish, and that certificate should be com- 
pared with the register by the same person who executes the 
subpoena, that he may be able to depone upon its being a 
good Certificate before the Judges there. As your friend's 


life is at stake you 11 surely not grudge a little trouble to use 
the necessary means to save him. In case of any needs I 
have sent another subpoena and two copies to Peter M'Glashan 
for your friend's accompt. I '11 expect a return from you per 
bearer, and am, Sir, your most humble Servant, 

' Rod. MacLeod. 
' Direct for Roderick MacLeod, 
Writer to the Signet, Ed^-' 

Writ of Subpoena. 

' George the Second, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so 
forth. To . . . Greeting, We command you and every of 
you, that, all other things set aside and ceasing every Excuse, 
you and every of you Be and Appear in your proper persons 
before our Justices and Commissioners at our Special Sessions 
of Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery to be held by 
Adjournment at the City of Carlisle, in and for the County 
of Cumberland, on Tuesday the ninth day of September 
next, by virtue of the Statute in that case made and pro- 
vided to testify the Truth betwixt us and James Ferguson, 
late of the City of Carleisle in the County of Cumberland, 
Gentleman, and this you shall in nowise omitt under the 
penalty of One Hundred pounds apiece. Witness Sir Thomas 
Parker, knight, at the City of Carlisle the Twelfth day of 
August in the Twentieth year of our reign. 

' Kno. Herton.' 

Printed Citation. 

' By virtue of his Majesty's Writ of Subpoena now to you 
shewn, to you and others directed, you are commanded. That 
all other things set aside and ceasing every Excuse, you be 
and Appear in your proper Person before the Justices and 
Commissioners of our Sovereign Lord the King at the Special 
Sessions of our said Lord the King, of Oyer and Terminer 
and Gaol Delivery, to be held by Adjournment at the City of 
Carlisle in and for the County of Cumberland, on Tuesday 
the ninth day of September next by virtue of the Statute in 
that Case made and provided to testify the Truth betwixt 


our said Lord the King and James Ferguson, late of the City 
of CarUsle in the County of Cumberland, Gentleman, on the 
Behalf of the said James Ferguson. And this you shall in 
no ways omit under the Penalty of one Hundred Pounds. 
Dated the Twelfth Day of August in the Twentieth year of 
the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Second, by the 
Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, 
Defender of the Faith, and so forth, and in the year of our 
Lord One thousand seven hundred and forty six. 

' Rod. MacLeod, 
' Solicitor by Special Appointment! 

1756. A Finlay Fergussone signs a stated account of 
Robert Menzies, writer in Coshiville, of his Intromissions with 
the value of Effects sold by Roup and other ways belonging 
to the deceased Mr. Fergus Fergusson, Minister of the Gospel 
at Fortingall, which is docquetted ' Stated Account betwixt 
the children of the deceased Mr. Fergus Fergusson and 
Robert Menzies, factor for them.' (The Rev. Fergus had a 
son Finlay.) 

1758. On 13th November 1758 the Duke of AthoU granted 
a precept of dare constat in favour of Edmund Fergusson 
of Baledmund as heir of his father, Finlay Fergusson. 

Edmund Fergusson, who had no children, married Mary 
Robertson, sister of George Robertson of Fascallie. He 
survived to , and had been baptized on 29th 

July 1738, his mother being Helen Balneaves. His sister 
Margaret had, on November 3rd, 1747, married Thomas 
Fergusson of Balyoukan, and the estate of Baledmund passed 
to her descendants. 

The Baledmund papers contain the following note : — 

Thomas Fergusson, Esq., and Margaret Fergusson, married 
3rd Nov. 1747. Children baptized to them : — 
Alexander, Aug. 23rd, 1748. 
Finlay, March 6th, 1750. 
Finlay, May 20th, 1751. 
Thomas, Jan. 2nd, 1753. 
James, Aug. 30th, 1754. 


Edmund, April 22nd, 1756. 
Helen, April 30tli, 1758. 
Henry, Nov. 30th, 1759. 
Archibald, Nov. 10th, 1761. 
Patrick, Mar. 9th, 1763. 
Robert, June 25th, 1766. 

Alexander Fergusson, Esq., and Isabella Watson, married 
August 27th, 1796. Children baptized to them : — 
Isabella, Oct. 1st, 1797 ; d. 27/9/65. 
Margaret, March 6th, 1799; d. /18 

Thomas, May 29th, 1800 ; d, 11/6/24. 
Alex., Nov. 5th, 1801 ; d. 6/31. 
Edmund, May 21st, 1803. 
Jean, Jany. 27th, 1805. 

James, Aug. 4th, 1806; m. 12/3/38; d. 21/12/87. 
Mary-Jane, May 1st, 1808. 
Helen, Feby. 24th, 1810 ; d. 9/34. 
Henrietta, Feby. 22nd, 1812 ; d. 25/12/52. 
Elisabeth Joanna, March 21st, 1813. 
Catherine, 2nd July 1814 ; d. 11/11/40. 
Augusta, Aug. 28, 1817 ; d. 25/1/56. 
Georgina, March 8, 1819. 

.TTtVT-ol ,,,, 



James Fergusson, Esq., and Jane Robertson, married 12tli 
March 1838. Children baptized to them : — 

Jane (deceased). 

Isabella Henrietta, m. 1/2/65 (deceased). 

Augusta Margaret. 

Edmund Alexander, June 18th, 1843 (deceased). 

Elizabeth Joanna, m. 27/10/69. 

Jemima Catherine (deceased). 

James Grant, June 1st, 1850. 

Thomas, Feb. 15th, 1853. 

Flora Georgina. 

Alex. Dawson, Jas. Ed., April 5, 1857. 
James Grant Fergusson married Mary, daughter of Rev. 
William Davidson, D.D., 18th June 1884, and has issue: — 

Mary Grizel Jean. 

Henrietta Margaret. 

Edmund James, born 13th December 1891. 
The following is the 'Roll of Fencible men supplied by 
Baledmund in the years 1705 and 1706,' from a note furnished 
by the Duke of Athole to Mr. Fergusson of Baledmund. 


Finlay Ferguson of Baledmund. 

Alex. Duff, servant, armed. 

John Ferguson, servant, armed. 

Robert Ferguson, tenant, armed. 

John Anderson, tenant, armed. 

Alex. Stewart, servant, wants arms. 

Robert Robertson, tenant, wants arms. 

William Stewart, tenant, wants a sword. 

Finlay Ferguson of Baledmund. 

William Stewart. 

John Anderson. 

John Drummond. 

John Drummond. 

John Caddel. 

John Ferguson. 

Donald Fleming. 

Robert Ferguson. 

James Ferguson. 


The following is a copy of the Balyoukan Roll for 1705, 
also in possession of the Duke of Athole : — 

Alexander Ferguson of Balyoukan, armed. 
Duncan Robertson, his servant, armed. 
Patrick Robertson, tenant, armed. 
Alexander Ferguson, his servant, armed. 
Alexander Campbell, tenant, armed. 
John Campbell, a young man, wants a gun. 
John Peebles, tenant, weaver, wants arms. 
Finlay Ferguson, smith, armed. 
Robert Ferguson, his son, armed. 
Donald Fleming, his servant, excused. 
James Robertson, a young man, armed. 
Donald Keir, his servant, absent. 
Thomas Reid, cottar, merchant, excused. 
Thomas Menzies, cottar, wants arms. 
Robert Douglas, miller, wants arms. 
John Keir, his servant, a miller, wants arms. 


Section V 


The Ballyoukan papers in the possession of Mr. Fergusson of 
Baledmund, the representative both of the Baledmimd and 
of the later Ballyoukan Fergusson family are not numerous. 
Thomas Fergusson, Laird of Ballyoukan, who in 1747 
married Margaret Fergusson the heiress of Baledmund, 
predeceased his wife, who granted a power of attorney as his 
widow in favour of Alexander, her eldest lawful son, Finlay 
being dead, on 1st May 1781. Ballyoukan was sold to Butter 
of Pitlochrie in 1802. The titles of the estate clearly show 
the descent of the Fergusson family from the date of the 
feu-charter in 1612, to the sale of the estate 190 years later. 
It passed by marriage in the middle of the seventeenth 
century from one Fergusson family to another, who, in the 
middle of the eighteenth century by marriage also acquired 
right to the future inheritance of Balednumd. While how- 
ever the first heiress seems to have left no issue of her own, 

feegussojSts m athole 107 

and the estate to have passed to her husband/ on the second 
occasion, the subsequent owners were the direct descendants 
of the previous owners of both properties. 

1612. On 1st January 1612 Sir Archibald Stewart of 
Fynnart granted a charter in favour of Thomas Fergusson in 
Ballyoukan, disponing to him and his heirs and successors, 
All and whole the 40/ land of Ballyoukan, the 40/ land of 
Ballameanoch, and the Miln of Pittagir, Mill lands and 
sequels of the same, with the Thirlage to the said Miln of the 
40/ land of Ballachandie, 40/ land of Pittchastle, 40/ land of 
Pittnaragaren, alias Ballagowan, and the 40/ land of Pittagir, 
with the use of the Loch of Lochbroon and privilege of 
drawing water therefrom for the use of the said Miln, with 
the liberty of carting turfs and peats, etc.. Together with all 
and sundry salmon fishings upon the water of Tummel and 
Lochbroon used and wont, with all and sundry meadows, 
oaken and other woods within the bounds of the lands of 
Ballyoukan and Ballameanoch, lying within the parishes of 
Moulin and Logierait, regality of Athole and shire of Perth. 
To be held in feu of the granter. 

The instrument of sasine following is dated 14th January 

1613. On 23rd November 1613 the said Thomas Fergus- 
son of Ballyoukan granted a charter of the aforesaid lands, 
mill, and others, in favour of William Fergusson, his son and 
apparent heir. 

On 13th December 1613 William, Earl of TulHbardine, 
superior of the said lands, granted a charter of Resignation in 
favour of the said WilHam Fergusson and his heirs, on which 
sasine was taken on 23rd December. 

1641. On 7th December 1641 the said William Fergus- 
son granted a charter of the said lands, etc., in favour of 
Alexander Fergusson, his son-in-law, and Elspeth Fergusson, 
his daughter, and the longest liver of them in liferent, 
and the heirs to be procreated between them in fee, on which 
sasine was taken 8th December 1641, and which was con- 
firmed by charter of the Earl of Athole 19th May 1642. 

1 Cf. Minister of Moulin's MS. 


1663. On 13th March 1663 the said Alexander Fergiisson 
acquired from David, Viscount of Stormonth, the teinds of the 
lands of Ballameanoch and mill lands of Pittagir. 

1705. On 22nd June 1705 John, Duke of Athole, Marquis 
of Tullibardine, Earl of Strathtay and Strathairdle, Viscount 
of Balquhidder, Glenalmond, and Glenlyon, Lord Murray 
Balvanie and Gask, granted a precept of dare constat in 
favour of Alexander Fergusson as heir of his father, Alex- 
ander Fergusson of Ballyoukan, on which sasine was taken 
on 20th July 1705. 

1747. In the contract of marriage, dated 7th October 1747, 
between Thomas Fergusson, yr. of Ballyoukan, eldest lawful 
son of the foresaid Alexander Fergusson of Ballyoukan, and 
Margaret Fergusson, only lawful daughter of Finlay Fergus- 
son of Baledmund, the foresaid lands of Ballyoukan, etc., 
were devised by the said Alexander Fergusson to the said 
Thomas Fergusson and the heirs-male of his body, under 
burden of certain provisions for his brothers, James and Archi- 
bald, etc., upon which sasine was taken on 16th February 
1750, the procurator being Robert Fergusson, in Cull of 

1760. On 19th January 1760 the Duke of Athole granted 
a precept of dare constat in favour of the said Thomas Fer- 
gusson, as heir of the said Alexander Fergusson, his father, 
the lands to be held on payment of the previous feu-duties, 
and of £4, 10s. Scots in lieu of the services of hosting, hunt- 
ing, watching, warding, and personal attendance formerly 
prestable, on which sasine was taken on 20th June 1769. 

1782. On 16th November 1782 the Duke of Athole 
granted a precept of dare constat in favour of Alexander 
Fergusson, as heir of Thomas Fergusson of Ballyoukan, his 
father, on which sasine was taken on 1st January 1783. 

1802. By disposition dated 28th December 1802 Alex- 
ander Fergusson sold the estate of Ballyoukan to Lieut. -Col. 
Archibald Butter of Pitlochry. 


Henry Fergusson, a younger son of Thomas Fergusson of 


Ballyoukan, born in 1759, was an eminent surgeon, Avho prac- 
tised in London, and was a court doctor. Dr. Fergusson 
returned, when an old man, to Ballyoukan, and was held in 
high repute as a skilful physician. During an epidemic of 
smallpox he was in much request, and inoculated the people 
in the year 1808, as appears from his case-book. Dr. Fergus- 
son died in 1811. His portrait in oil and that of his wife 
are in the possession of his grandson, Henry Fergusson, Pit- 

Alexander Fergusson of Ballyoukan granted a lease to 
Henry Fergusson, dated 8th July 1802, for eighteen years. 
The Doctor resided at Aldanrorie, and was brother to said 
Alexander. In Dr. Fergusson's case-book he has entered, 
under 1st February 1805, visits to ' Mrs. Fergusson, Dun- 
fallandy.' Under year 1808 are many entries of inoculation. 
He must have been among the first to introduce it into Scot- 
land, as Dr. Jenner introduced vaccine inoculation in 1799, 
though he had discovered its virtue in 1796. Dr. Fergusson, 
on his return from London about 1802, would bring the new 
notions and practices with him. 

Under date 1810 he has an account for attendance on Ann 
Fergusson, Middlehaugh. 

^tli April 1802. There is a letter from James Robertson of 
Lude inviting Dr. Fergusson, Easthaugh, to the funeral of his 
wife. On the back is the Doctor's reply, regretting he can- 
not go, owing to attendance on a patient. 

The most interesting letter, however, is one dated 12th 
December 1797, from Lady Elgin, addressed to Mr. Fergusson, 
at Genl. Bruce's Lodging, Exeter. In it she refers to the bad 
news about her son, whom the Doctor was attending, and who 
was dying. She gives directions about the coffin, and sug- 
gests a vault may be got through Dr. Courtnay, Bishop of 
Exeter, as her desire was he should be buried there. 

Note. — Communicated from the papers of Henry Fergusson, Esq., Pit- 

Section VI 


Genealogical Narrative by the Rev. Adam Fergusson, 
21 inister of Moulin. 1775. With addition. 

This narrative was sent in 1892 to Mr. James Ferguson 
(Kinmundy) by the late A. Dingwall-Fordyce, an Aberdeen- 
shire gentleman resident at Fergus, Ontario, Canada. The 
MS. is a copy 'made by himself from the original (many 
years since) of the minister of Moulin's^ narrative.' The 
addition detailing his children must have been added by 
another hand, and appears to have been added to the copy, 
possibly at a later date. 


(The following narrative was written by the Kev. Adam 
Ferorusson, minister of Moulin, and addressed to his sons for 
their information and amusement, giving an account of their 
descent, relations, and connections.) 

' Your Parents were Adam Fergusson, Minister of Moulin, 
and Emily Menzies, sixth lawful daughter to Captain James 
Menzies of Comry, Tutor of Weem, by Anne Campbell 

'Paternal. — Your father, Adam Fergusson, is son to Alex- 
ander Fergusson of Bellechandy and Magdalen Ogilvy. 
Bellechandy he sold when I was a child, to pay debts atiect- 
ing it. He had an elder brother, Adam, who died unmarried : 
two younger — Thomas who married, and had children, but 
none of them married, and David, who left the country un- 
married, and no accounts of or from him, except that Charles, 
eldest son to Mr. Adam Fergusson, Minister of Logierait, 

1 For notice of the author, from the Faati Scoticancs Ecclesice, v. infra, sect. x. 


mentioned in a letter to his father, forty years past, from 
Jamaica, that he had seen an uncle of mine there. John 
Fergussons wife, my grand-mother, was Margaret Scott, 
daughter to Scott of Glenerbert, who had an estate reckoned 
considerable in those days. The mother of Donald Duff, 
merchant in Dunkeld, Donald Campbell, first husband to my 
sister, his brother and sisters, and several other yeomanry 
persons in Strathbraan and Glenalmond, are my relations in 
that connection. Margaret Scott's mother was Miss Robert- 
son, sister to Auchleeks, a branch from the stem which the 
Laird of Lude represents. A sister of hers was wife to Stewart 
of Urrard. .James Stewart of Urrard, who died at Cluny in 
December 1745, and my father, were the grandsons of two 
sisters. The wife of Adaon Fergusson, my great-grandfather, 
was Miss Butter, daughter to Butter of Easter Dunfallandy. 
John Butter, who a few years ago sold it, and his sons, were 
my relations. Adam, I see by a marriage-contract, married 
a second wife, daughter of Cudbert of Clochatt. I do not see 
nor have I heard that either my grandfather or great-grand- 
father had any brothers who had issue. I see by a contract 
of marriage that my great-grandfather had a daughter mar- 
ried to Cardney of Pitcastle, in Strathtay, her tocher 500 
merks, not inconsiderable in those days : a family then in 
repute, but since decayed, and now no remains of them. My 
great-great-grandfather, Fergus Fergusson of Bellechandy, 
married a daughter of Baron Reid in Strathairdle. He had 
two brothers, Thomas, Portioner of Balmyle, in Strathairdle, 
and Alexander, master of a merchant vessel of Dundee. 
The said Thomas did, near or about two hundred years past, 
purchase the lands of Wester Balmacruchie from David 
Maxwell of Tealing, and Hugh, his son and apparent heir ; 
which the said Thomas takes disponed to himself and the 
heirs-male of his own body ; whom failing, to Alexander and 
his heirs-male ; all whom failing, to Adam Fergusson, son to 
Fergus Fergusson of Bellechandy, brother-german to the 
said Thomas and Alexander, and to his heirs and assignees ; 
and as Balmacruchy came to Adam, my great-grandfather, 
the last institute in the tailzie, it appears that neither 
Thomas nor Alexander had male issue ; whether they had 


daughters I do not know. Tradition says that the said 
Fergus was the fourth proprietor of Bellechandy from father 
to son. 

' Baron Fergusson, whose ancestors had extensive lands, viz., 
Dumfalandy, the Ten Pound land of Derculich, the Ten Pound 
land of Dalshian, and the third of Strathairdle and Glenshee, 
is our stem. Fergusson of Bally oukan was a son of his, and 
another son, predecessor to the branch of which Professor 
Adam Fergusson, Finlay of Middlehaugh, and others are, 
and said to have sprung from the stem at the same time. 
Bellechandy is said to have been a son of the first Bally oukan, 
and if not a son he was certainly a brother. Professor 
Fergusson is your relation, not only as springing from the 
same stem, but also by a later connection ; as it is an uncon- 
troverted tradition that a daughter of Bellechandy was wife 
to one of his ancestors, but I do not know at what period, 
nor how many steps from him and me. I have been told 
too that a daughter was at some period married to a Fergusson 
of Cowal, and my father, when in Argyleshire in 1685, was 
told the marriage contract was then extant. 

' Ballyoukan that now is has no relation to the Baron, unless 
you suppose Thomas Fergusson of Aberdeenshire to be from 
that stem ; which, though it has often been said, and may be 
true, cannot, I believe, be instructed. When my grandfather 
was a boy, Ballyoukan died leaving a daughter an only child. 
At a meeting of friends, as my grandfather was not of an age 
to marry, and his own estate somewhat encumbered as well 
as Ballyoukan, it was resolved and settled. That any suitable 
young man of the name who had money equal to the debts 
upon Ballyoukan marrying the heiress should have the estate 
settled upon himself and his heirs, failing heirs of the 
marriage. The grandfather of Ballyoukan that now is, a son 
to the Minister either of Crathie or Glenmuick,^ had the 
money, married the heiress who had no children to him that 
survived herself ; he married another, and their grandson now 
enjoys the estate.' 

The MS. then proceeds to trace other families whose blood 
flowed in the veins of the Rev. Adam Fergusson, through his 

^ See chap. iv. 


mother, Margaret Ogilvy. The writer mentions that the wife 
of David Ogilvy, merchant in Leith, and second cousin to his 
mother, 'was daughter to a Mr. Fergusson, a minister m 
Aberdeenshire.' ' You have,' he conchides, ' no cousin-german 
in your Paternal hne, as I have no one nephew or niece, and 
indeed scarce any near relation.' The MS. then deals with 
the descent of the author's mfe, Emily Menzies. Another 
hand has continued it, and given the following additional 
particulars of the family : — 

' The venerable author of the preceding narrative died 
in 1785, in his 81st year. He had been a Avidower for 
many years. Of his Family four sons and two daughters 
grew up. John, his eldest son, had attained the rank of 
captain in the military service of the East India Compan}^ 
with a very high character as a soldier. After a temporary 
visit to his native land, in his voyage out at the Cape of 
Good Hope he was basely assassinated by an infamous fellow 
of the name of Roche, who had been expelled from the 
Captain's Table on Board at Captain Fergusson's suggestion, 
on account of improper conduct. John was on this occasion 
accompanied by Adam, his youngest brother, who had 
obtained an appointment in India, and was very soon cut off 
by a fever after reaching his destination. James, the second 
son, was a man of very superior hterary acquirements : He 
followed no particular profession, but lived much on the 
continent, where he travelled for some years with Lord 
Bruce, son of the Earl of Aylesbury, and also Avith the 
present Earl of Morton. He died in middle life at Bath. 
Neil the third became an advocate and died Sheriff-Depute 
of Fife. Ann, the eldest daughter, married the Rev. Dr. 
Bisset, minister of Logierait; and Vere died at advanced 
age unmarried. Of the sons, Neil alone left issue. He 
married Agnes, second daughter of Sir George Colquhoun of 
Tilly hcAven, Bart., then widow of Maurice Trent of Pitcullo, Avho 
settled his estate upon her having no issue. Ann left one son, 
Robert, who distinguished himself by the Life of BiirJce and 
several other able productions ; he married a Miss Robinson, 
and died in London, leaving tAvo daughters. Neil left three 
sons and three daughters — Adam, John, James, Rebecca, 



Amelia Ann, and Hannah Harriet. The eldest son, Adam, 
was also called to the Bar ; he married Jemima, the post- 
humous child of Major James Johnston of the East India 
Company's Engineers : her mother the eldest daughter of 
John Blair of Balthayock, and now the representative of that 
Family from the death of her brother, Major Blair, also of 
the East India Company's service. Amelia Ann, the second 
daughter, was married to John Eraser, Esq. of Farraline, 
advocate : the others are yet unmarried.' 

Upon the stone in Greyfriars' Churchyard, Edinburgh, 
marking the burial-place of Neil Fergusson, Esq., are recorded 
the following : — 

Neil Ferguson, Esq., Advocate, of Woodhill, died 3rd July 1803. 

Anne Colquhoun, his wife, died 7 th August 1812. 
George, their son (aged 8 months), died 22nd September 1786. 
Vere, sister to Neil Ferguson, died 16 th November 1818. 
Jemuna Johnston Blair, wife of Adam Ferguson of Woodhill, 

Advocate, died 14th April 1824. 
Margaret Agnes Patricia, eldest child of Adam Ferguson of 

Woodhill, died 11th February 1823. 
John Ferguson, Esq., died 30th June 1847, aged 56. 
James Ferguson, W.S., died 19th May 1850, aged 57. 

It is interesting to note that in the View of the Political 
State of Scotland in 1788 Neil Ferguson, Advocate, appears 
among the * Votes of Mr. Ferguson of Pitfour,' in Banffshire. 
He must have been a Jacobite, for the note after his name is 
' Will not swear.' 

The following letter ^ was written by the minister of 
Moulin on 3rd February 1746, to Colonel Robertson of 
Drumachine, of the Athole Highlanders : — 

' Sir, — I had information from two different hands about 
4 or 5 weeks since that a party was to be sent to my house 
from Blair or Logyrate to search or riffle at large : the 
informers could not distinctly assure which or if both. I 
would not allow myself to believe the last, and had nothing 
to object to the narrowest search. Nor could I have excepted 

^ Jacobite Corre-^j^ondence of the Athole Family, No. cc. 


to the foregoing of Horse, Arms, Horse furniture or things of 
that sort as being a suspected person. But nothing happened 
till yesternight about 8 o'clock that a party of a serjeant and 
11 or 12 men who first called themselves Brae Athole men 
but afterwards acknowledged they were Camerons came from 
Blair Athole where they have been for 2 or 3 days before 
alledging a written order for violence against my person and 
effects. And indeed they exercised it upon both. They 
did not indeed shew any order and I cannot believe they had 
any such one as they executed. They plundered and carried 
off my silver watch, all the money I had (qu^ was but little), 
some of the most valuable of my wife's silks and other 
clothes, all the best and finest of our table Linnen, Bed 
Linnen and Body Linnen, of all which we were very well 
provided. We have not had time yet to draw out a note of 
the particulars : only in general my wife says they have 
carried off to the value of between £30 and 40 pounds 
sterling. If it is possible they have had (I don't say orders) 
but even allowance of any general officer for this behaviour 
I have nothing to say and will not complain, and if they had 
not I hope it will not be impracticable to order and enforce 
restitution of the most valuable effects, and this I presume 
wiU be the easier effectuated, that they have I am told 
returned to Blair. If they had contented themselves with 
what cheese. Beef, Honney, Ale and Whiskey they consumed 
and carried off, or even with Body Linnen, Shoes, Stockens 
it might have been thought tolerable, but to go to the length 
they did showed an evil rapacious disposition, and is what I 
am well convinced Locheill would as little allow of or approve 
as any man alive. I am much of opinion that no Protection 
would have availed anything with people in their way. But 
as they have begun violence not only against my effects but 
person, I believe I must apply and shall be obliged to you for a 
pass to travel out of the country to where I may be more safe 
till the present troubles be at an end. It is like if I am out of 
the way my wife and children may meet with some indulgence 
upon the score of her friends, and that they will look more 
after her safety. Whatever happen I hope I have hitherto 
felt that God who in his wise and good Providence sees meet 


to measure out to me some share of sufi'ering will enable me 
to bear them with Christian patience and resignation. 

' I beg you make my compliments acceptable to Mrs. 
Robertson whom I heartily wish well. My wife who goes to 
make her moan to the Duke of Athole and you will deliver 
her own to your Lady, and I am with sincere esteem and 
affection, Sir, your most humble servant, 

' Adam Fergusson.' 

Moulin, Feb. 3rd, 1746. 

< p^S. — There was upwards of 10 ells uncut Cambrick and 
several other things not named carried off in the plunder.' 

Fergusson of Easter Dalnahrech. 

It has been seen that a Robert Fergusson was ' in Wester 
Dalnabreck' in 1620. In 1744 Thomas Fergusson in Perth, 
son of Donald Fergusson ' in Easter Dalnabreck,' was served 
heir of his brother Donald.^ The following particulars as to 
the family of Easter Dalnabreck have been taken down from 
the Rev. Donald Fergusson, formerly minister of the Free 
Church at Leven, Fife, and resident in 1895 at Glencairn 
House, Crieff. 

The first of the stock, afterwards ' of Easter Dalnabreck,' 
was a Donald Fergusson (great-grandfather or great-great- 
grandfather of the Rev. Donald Fergusson), who is said to 
have quitted his own country, near Pitlochry, on account of * a 
rather too free use of the dirk,' and to have settled at Ennoch, 
on the lands of the Blackwater, in Glenshee. Either he or 
another Donald was the father of Charles Fergusson who 
acquired the property of Easter Dalnabreck. His son, also 
a Charles Fergusson, had six children. 

1. May, married James Reid, and had issue. 

2. James Fergusson, a clergyman in London, died unmarried. 

3. Bathia, died unmarried. 

4. John Fergusson. 

5. William Fergusson, died unmarried. 

6. Donald Fergusson. 

John Fergusson, the second son of Charles Fergusson of 

1 Notes by the late R. R. Stodart. 


Easter Dalnabreck, settled in Western Australia, and became 
Government Medical Officer at Perth. He married Isabel 
Maxwell, and has, with other issue : — 

1. John Maxwell Fergusson, who married his cousin, Grace 

Ogilvie Fergusson, daughter of the Rev. Donald Fer- 

2. Charles Fergusson, resident at Horton, near Perth, 

Western Australia, and has issue. 
Donald Fergusson, the youngest son of Charles Fergusson 
of Easter Dalnabreck, for long minister of the Free Church 

at Leven, married, first, , daughter of Colonel WilHam 

Balfour, 82nd Regiment, of the family of Balfour of Trenaby, 
and has, with other issue : — 

1. Charles Balfour Fergusson, resident in Calcutta. 

2. William Balfour Fergusson, M.D., Painswick, Gloucester- 

shire, married, and has issue. 

3. John Moore Fergusson (so called owing to a connection 

through his mother with Sir John Moore, the hero of 
Corunna), minister of the English Presbyterian Church, 
Woolwich, married, and has issue. 

4. Grace Ogilvie, married her cousin, J. M. Ferguson. 

The Rev. Donald Fergusson married, secondly, in 1882, 
Marie Wilhelmina Henrietta Pauline, elder daughter and co- 
heir of Colonel Louis von Corvin Wierbitzkij,^ Prussian Royal 
Artillery, and Pauline, his wife, nee Baroness Knobelsdorff, 
and widow of the Rev. Robert Lundin Brown, minister of the 
Free Church at Largo, Fife. 

1 This Prussian family boasts a unique descent. Sprung through soldiers 
who fought at Waterloo and Kollin, from a branch— settled in Poland after 
the persecutions of the early Reformation— of the great Hungarian house of 
Corvin, which produced John Hunyadi and King Mathias Corvinus, the 
national heroes of the Magyar race, it carries its traditionary origin through 
the Roman governors of the Danubian provinces to the patrician gens which 
owed its surname to the classic combat of Marcus Valerius Corvinus with the 
Gallic Goliath who had challenged the chivalry of Rome, in B.C. 358. Its 
shield combines the horseshoe, granted by John Sobieski to the knights 
who rode with him to the succour of Vienna against the Ottoman infidel, 
with the raven that records the winged aid sent by the gods of Rome to 
equalise the odds in favour of the gigantic barbarian. Mrs. Fergusson's only 
sister married Eberhard von Leukanos, Lord of Schrine, in Silesia, and has 

Section VII 


Rev. Adam Fergusson, Minister of Logierait, Professor 
Adam Ferguson, and their descendants. 

Another branch of the Perthshire Fergussons was that 
descended through the minister of Logierait from the parent 
stock of Dunfallandy, which claims as its own the strong 
Scotch character, the philosophic mind, and the literary 
genius of the historian of the Roman Republic. In a letter 
written by Sir Adam Ferguson in 1848, he states that his 
grandfather, ' the Minister of Logierait, was a younger son of 
the Laird of Dunfallandy (styled Baron Ferguson) also in 
Athole.' The connection, however, with ' the stem ' of Baron 
Fergusson appears, both from the minister of Logierait's and 
the minister of Moulin's mss., to date much further back. 

On account of the eminence in the learned world and the 
famous circle of Edinburgh men of letters of Professor Adam 
Ferguson, and the close association of his family with the 
home life of Sir Walter Scott at Abbotsford, a special interest 
attaches to this branch of the ' sons of Fergus.' Through the 
assistance of its present representative, Mr. Robert N. R. 
Ferguson of the Treasury, we are enabled to give some most 
interesting extracts from their correspondence, and a series 
of delightful short biographies of his ' forebears ' written for 
these Records by himself. The account of this family will 
therefore embrace — 

1. A brief Genealogy, compiled from a (jenealogical Table 

prepared by Mr. R. N. R. Ferguson. 

2. A Notice of and Extracts from an Autobiographical MS. 

written by the Minister of Logierait. 



3. Mr. Kobert N. R. Ferguson's Memoirs of— 

1. Professor Adam Ferguson. 

2. His elder brother, Robert. 

3. Robert (Bob), son of No. 2. 

4. Capt. Joseph Ferguson, second son of the Professor. 

5. Sir Adam Ferguson, and the family at Huntly- 


6. Robert Ferguson, M.D. 

7. Letters from the Huntlyburn Family. 

Genealogy of descendants of Rev. Adam Fergusson 
of Logierait 
I. Adam Fergusson (1672-1754), minister of Logierait, 
married, in 1705, Mary Gordon of Hallhead, and had 
issue — 

1. Mary, born 1706. She married, in 1726, Duncan 

Stewart of Blackhill (ninth in descent from John 
Stewart of Fothergill and Garth, 1455), second son 
of the Reverend Robert Stewart, minister of Kdhn, 
1679-1729. Their son, Adam Stewart, married 
Helen, daughter of John Hepburn of Coquhalzie, 
and their daughter, Helen Hepburn, married James 
Stewart of Edradynate, grandson of Robert Stewart 
of Derculich, younger brother of the said Duncan 
Stewart of Blackhill.^ Mary Fergusson or Stewart 
died at Coupar- Angus. "" 

2. Charles, born 1708 ; died 1743, at Port Royal, Jamaica. 

3. Anna, born and died 1710. 

4. Alexander, born 1711 ; left two daughters, who lived 

at Coupar- Angus. 

5. John, born 1713, died 1724. ^ -, . . 

6. Janet, born 1715 ; married Thos. Wilkie (of Foulden). 

Their daughter, Janet Wilkie, married William 
Watson of Auchtertyre, and their son, Hugh Wat- 
son of Keillor, was father of Janet Watson (great- 
grand-daughter of Janet Fergusson), who married 
S. R. Fergusson of Middlehaugh.^ 

1 Note communicated by James Stewart Robertson, Esq. of Edradynate. 

2 Note by Mrs. Fergusson of Middlehaugli. 


7. Patrick, born 1717, died 1747, at Port Royal, Jamaica. 

8. Robert, 1719-1797. 

9. Adam, 1723-1816. 

II. Robert Ferguson, the eldest surviving son, resident in 
America, and latterly at Perth, left a son, 

III. Robert Ferguson (' Bob '), who died in 1830, having had 

three children — 

1. Robert Ferguson, M.D. 

2. Mary Anne, married, first, Mr. Edge, and second. 

Rev. Alex. N. C. Dallas, leaving issue by both 

3. Catherine, married James Cary, D.D., son of the 

translator of Dante, and left issue. 

IV. Robert Ferguson, M.D., born 1799, died 1865, married, 

first, Cecilia Labalmondiere, by whom he had no issue, 
who died in 1842 ; and second, Mary MacLeod (of 
MacLeod), daughter of MacLeod of MacLeod. She 
died 1884. Their children are — 

1. Mary Roma. Married Col. H. C. B. Farrant, Loyal 

North Lancashire (81st) Regiment, and has issue. 

2. Robert Norman Ronald. 

3. Marion Cecil, unmarried. 

4. Harold Stuart. 

5. Robert Henry Bruce, born 1854, unmarried. 

V. Robert Norman Ronald Ferguson, born 1848, married 
Rose G. Cumberbatch, daughter of Laurence Cumber- 
batch, M.D., and has issue — 

1. (vi.) Ronald Torquil. 

2. Roma. 

3. Rachel. 

V. Harold Stuart Ferguson, younger son of Robert Fergu- 
son, M.D. (iv), born 1850, married Isabel Maxwell, 
niece of Field-Marshal Lord Roberts, and has issue — 

1. Robert. 

2. Stuart. 

3. Adam. 

II. Adam Ferguson, younger son of the Rev. Adam Fergus- 
son of Logierait, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the 


University of Edinburgli, married Katy Burnet, who 
died 1795, and had issue — 

1. Sir Adam Ferguson, born 1770, Depute-Keeper of the 

Regalia of Scotland, married Margaret, daughter 
of John Stuart of Stenton, had no issue and died 
in 1854. 

2. Joseph, died in 1799 unmarried. 

3. Col. James Ferguson, died in 1859 unmarried. 

4. Admiral John Ferguson, R.N., deceased. 

5. Margaret, died unmarried. 

6. Isabel, died unmarried, 24th December 1830. 

7. Mary, died unmarried, January 1829. 

III. Admiral John Ferguson, R.N., youngest son of Professor 

Adam Ferguson, born in 1784, and died 1855, married 

Elizabeth Lauder Guild, Avho died in 1894. They had 

one son, 

(IV.) Captain Adam Ferguson (42nd Royal Highlanders, 

the Black Watch), born 1836, and died unmarried 


MS. Narrative by Rev. Adam Fergusson, Minister 
of Logierait 
In 1867 there was extant a ms. memoir, written by the 
Rev. Adam Fergusson, minister of Logierait, whose son 
Adam became the distinguished professor, philosopher, and 
historian. It was referred to and extracts given from it in an 
article on Professor Adam Ferguson, which appeared in the 
Edinburgh Review of January 1867, and is thus described 
by the author of that article : — ' Old Mr. Fergusson at a very 
advanced age drew up a little memoir of his life, rambling 
and garrulous to the last degree, but full of interest, not only 
from the family information which it supplies and the indica- 
tions which it affords of hereditary peculiarities, but from 
the light it casts on the social condition, and in one or two 
instances even on the public history of Scotland, in the end 
of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth century. 
A copy of this curious autobiographical morsel formed part 
of the valuable ms. collection of the late Principal Lee, to 
whose son we are indebted for its use. . . . The sturdy truth- 


fulness of the son's character is apparent in every line the 
father has written . . . and the discovery of this humble MS. 
is a positive gain for the history of many questions which 
still agitate public opinion in Scotland. In anticipation of 
its publication, which Ave understand is contemplated, we 
shall cull a few extracts.' Every effort has been made by 
communication with the relatives of Principal Lee, with Mr. 
David Douglas, in whose hands the ms. at one time was, and 
who has contirmed the statement that its publication was 
intended, but recollects that it was sent to a member of the 
author's family, then resident in London, and with Mr. R. N. 
Ferguson, now the representative of Professor Adam Fergu- 
son, to trace this MS. with the view of including it verbatim 
in this volume. Unfortunately these efforts have not been 
successful, and it only remains to reproduce the extracts and 
account of the MS. fortunatety preserved in the pages of the 
Edinburgh Review. 

In Small's Memoir of Professor Adam Ferguson (printed 
in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 
xxiii. p. 599), it is stated that ' His father was descended from 
an old and respectable family in Athole, to whom the estate 
of Dunfallandy yet pertains; and his mother was the 
daughter of Mr. Gordon of Hallhead, in the county of Aber- 
deen.' In the female line, Ferguson traced a connection with 
the noble family of Argyll, thus referred to in a letter 
addressed to him by Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk : ' I am descended 
from the Queensberry family by two great-grandmothers, 
much at the same distance as you are from that of Argyll.' 
We now proceed to give the extracts from the minister of 
Logierait's MS., preserved in the Edinburglu Review. He 
speaks of himself throughout in the third person, and spells 
his name with a double s, whereas his son only uses a single. 
He dropped the other on the ground that it was unnecessary, 
and therefore unworthy of a philosopher. 

' He was born,' writes the minister of himself, ' of poor but 
honest religious parents at the Bridge-end of Gernoch, near 
Faskelie in the parish of Moulin in Athol, upon the 4th 
day of August 1672 ; being the third child of Laurence Fer- 
gusson and Janet Fergusson. ... In a year or two after his 


birth his parents being through a dearth then prevaihng 
unable to pay their rent did remove to MouHn, where his 
father's predecessors Hved for several generations, practising 
the smith trade in very good reputation ; the first of whom 
was called John, son of Fergusson of Drumachoir, who was at 
the battle of Pinkie, and relieved Stuart of Balnakeilie from 
five Englishmen that were assaulting him, and gave occasion 
for great friendship between their posterity.' 

Among youthful sins with which the old minister re- 
proached himself were ' Sabbath profanations, staying from 
ordinances, and following diversions,' in connection with which 
he tells this anecdote. 

' Having one Lord's day dressed up a stick in imitation of 
a fiddle, and rubbing the strings with a bow for his diversion 
while his parents were at church, his sister Janet, a prudent 
discreet girl about twelve years of age, did challenge him 
that it was wickedness that ought not to be done, entreating 
him to forbear it. He scornfully replied that he would not 
forbear, because he never could get his fiddle to play so well 
on any other day. The religious girl assured him that the 
reason of that was because the devil unseen did assist him to 
sin against God : which had deep impression on him, so as 
he never forgot it.' 

The future minister records that he was ' given to lying to 
excuse his ill-natured tricks, swearing and cursing to frighten 
his school-fellows with whom he was often in quarrels and 
blows.' Being however, when a student at St. Andrews, 
invited to the house of one of the regents one Sunday morn- 
ing, a conversation took place about classes and bursaries, 
when : — 

' At the time of this communing, Mr. David Magill (the 
Regent) took out of his pocket a large piece of roll-tobacco, 
and called for (as) his servant one of the students, and 
ordered him to the kitchen to dry and grind it to snuff. 
This was a great offence to Adam, who thought his own 
ilUberal father a better christian than Mr. Magill Avho was a 
preacher, because he had seen his father frequently refuse to 
take sneezen from persons that he suspected to have prepared 
it on the Lord's day.' 


Adam was sent to the parish school at Moulin. His first 
teacher ' possessed no skill of the Latin tongue further 
than the decHnations and conjugations, at which he was 
very deficient,' and from his description of the punishments 
inflicted, Dr. Lee was able to infer — ' it appears that in 1680 
little boys wore breeches in that part of the Highlands.' 
However, 'About the beginning of November 1683 Mr. 
William Balneaves, the minister of the parish, having got 
notice that one Duncan Menzies, an Apin of Dull lad, who 
had passed his course of philosophy in the old town college of 
Aberdeen, was in the family of Gordon of Abergeldie in Mar, 
sent express for him, and he was admitted schoolmaster at 
Moulin. Adie out of curiosity going on a day to see his old 
comrades at school, who had been two years before at other 
schools out of the country, one of them said to him "Bis- 
cuvibe " which he did not understand ; and this begot in him 
an eager desire and resolution to go to school again, which he 
did communicate to his father, who, with a frown told him 
he ought not to think of that, being too far advanced in years 
to begin to learn Latin. But the boy would not be diverted. 
His father allowed him to enter the school of Moulin the first 
Monday of the year 1684, Avhere he soon went through the 
declinations and conjugations of which he had some know- 
ledge before. Duncan Menzies advanced him according to 
his capacity, and in the month of May following he came up 
with those who for two years before were at other schools to 
learn Dispanter's grammar. Thus he continued at the Latin 
for four years, in the last of Avhich Lord George Murray, 
youngest son of the Marquis of A thole, was sent to the school 
of Moulin : with whom Adie contracted great familiarity, 
treating him with more regard than any other scholar, which 
procured him envy and hatred from his former comrades. 
But to compensate that disadvantage he got great benefit 
from Lord George's familiarity by learning from him to speak 
the English language, which he understood from his mother, 
who was daughter to the famous Earl of Derby. Lord George 
was a healthy sprightly boy. They both in an afternoon 
in a very private place made signs with their hands and fin- 
gers for all the letters of the alphabet so exactly, that by 


spelling words they could communicate their thoughts in 
company without the perception of any other, which was very 
prejudicial to Lord George's studies. For when the master 
examined him, Adie was sure to stand opposite to him, and 
with his fingers spelled the answer to be given to every ques- 
tion, which made him neglect to read his lesson.' 

To procure for his master the certificates which were 
necessary to enable him to graduate at St. Andrews, 
'Adie' made a journey on foot to Aberdeen in 1687, of 
which he says : — 

' He was much caressed by the honest women in Avhose 
houses he had occasion to lodge, who reckoned his mother 
unnaturally hard-hearted for suffering so young a boy to go 
such a journey. In all the way he paid nothing for meat, and 
very little drink sufficed him ; all his charges in going three- 
score and four miles Avas 11/ Scots, and in his return his 
charges were scarce as much, which gave him a very favour- 
able opinion of the people of that country, and made him 
treat them in a friendly manner whenever he had occasion 
to meet with any of them.' 

The following year he again Avent to Aberdeen to compete 
for a bursary, carrying two letters of recommendation, one 
from Mr. Balneaves, the minister, to George Halyburton, 
Bishop of Aberdeen, and the other from Mr. Menzies to Mr. 
Alexander Mitchell, one of the ministers whom the bishop 
had ejected from his living for refusing to take the Test. Mr. 
Mitchell ' entertained him at his house all the time he stayed 
in Aberdeen, performing such parts of trial as were pre- 
scribed to him,' but declined to introduce him to the bishop : 
' Yet the worthy man was so kind as to accompany him to 
Old Aberdeen, got Mr. George Eraser the sub-principal to 
introduce him to the Bishop, who was then at Aberdeen 
keeping a Synod, where he observed King James vii.'s birth- 
day on the 14th of October in a very pompous manner, going 
from the divine worship at church to the bonfire at the 
cross, singing psalms all the way, which gave great offence to 
serious tender-hearted christians, and was indeed the last 
parade that profane prelate appeared in at that place ; for in 
April thereafter the Convention of Estates, having declared 


for the Prince of ()range, did set him and all other Scotch 
prelates aside for a very flattering address they sent to King 
James in November before.' 

Fergusson failed to obtain the bursary, and was ultimately 
sent to St. Andrews. 

* His attempt at Aberdeen (he says) made him talked of 
among his father's acquaintances, by which means Mr. Pat- 
rick Bahieaves, merchant in Dundee, and brother of Mr. Bal- 
neaves minister at Moulin, did take occasion to recommend 
him to Mr. David Fergusson, minister at Strathmartin in 
Angus. He was great-grandchild to David Fergusson, 
minister at Dunfermline, in King James the Sixth's time, and 
had a considerable stock in money, but had no child to enjoy 
it except a brother's daughter ; and being very clannish, he 
Avas much inclined to be beneficial to any of the name of 
Fergusson that was thought capable of a liberal education, 
especially after his only son was lost on the ice in the North 
Loch at Edinburgh.' 

Adam Fergusson then gives an account of the manner in 
which the influence of Mr. David Fergusson was exerted on 
his behalf, and adds : — 

' The regent under whose inspection Adam happened to be, 
was one Mr. John Row, son of the minister at Ceres, who was 
grandchild by his mother to David Fergusson, minister at 
Dunfermline. He did reckon Adam his relation in that way, 
and was kind and careful about him. Under him Adam 
made good proficiency in the parts of philosophy that he 
taught, and Avas with great applause honoured with the 
degree of Master of Arts upon the 21st day of July 1693.' 

He also mentions that when he entered the Greek class, 
which was * taken up that year by Mr. William Conrie, 
Regent of St. Leonard's College, whose mother was of the 
name of Fergusson,' he too on that account ' was very careful 
about Adam Avho by his pains and diligence pleased him 

The MS. shows that the principal at St. Andrews dined 
daily in the hall, and that the students wore their gowns at 
table, and preserves an anecdote, * characteristic in other 
respects of the Scotland of these days.' 


The natural son of Mr. Nairn of Kirkhill had been 
presented to the bursary Fergusson's friends were trying 
to procure for him, and they remonstrated with the 

'The same day when the principal came to the hall to 
dinner he came and took hold of Thomas Nairn by the neck 
of his gown, and with a stern countenance said, " Rise up, 
you Babylonish child, and let Adam Fergusson, the lawful 
child of an honest man, sit in that place," which was im- 
mediately performed. Yet he gave Thomas Nairn a better 
place, making him his own portioner, and the students called 
him " Tom Babylon." ' 

In the summer of 1690 all the masters of the colleges 
' adhering to King James his interest except Mr. John 
Munroe in St. Leonard's College, were deprived and turned 
out ; and masters of the Presbyterian party were settled in 
their place.' 

After taking his degree Adam Fergusson succeeded 
Duncan Menzies as parish schoolmaster of Moulin — to which 
time must probably be referred Small's statement that ' he 
was long remembered with gratitude for having sheltered in 
his Manse of Crathie (sic) some of the unfortunate Mac- 
donalds on their flight from the treacherous massacre of 
Glencoe.' It is also interesting to note that he was tutor 
in the family of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwellton, whose 
daughter, ' Bonnie Annie Laurie,' married Fergusson of Craig- 
darroch, and on 25th September 1700 was ordained Minister 
at Crathie in Braemar. He thus accounts for one change of 
residence : — 

' The school (at Moulin) being numerous he was obliged 
to undergo a vast fatigue, by which he was brought so low 
that he was threatened with a decay to which the following 
event did greatly contribute. He happened to fall into the 
acquaintance of a young beautiful widow, and had frequent 
opportunities to converse with her as a person much inclined 
to piety, which had such effects that he became deeply in 
love with her. He saw the folly of it and used his reason 
against it. But the passion stifled reason and was fed by her 
entertaining it, though he never told her anything about 


it, and she discovered her affection for him by frequently 
advising him to apply to his studies, and make haste to pass 
trials for the ministr3\ But blind as he was, he saw that 
such an aftair ought to be i3ursued from other motives and 
from another end than taking a wife, though never so much 
beloved. Finding himself entangled he saw there was no 
way to evite death or ruin by continuing (if he continued) 
in the country. He therefore resolved to remove at (to) 
some distance from his beloved widow; and to excuse his 
resolution to the parish of Moulin, he pretended that he was 
to be provided for in a more easy station, and fitter for 

making progress in his studies. Yet upon Mrs. asking 

whither he was to go when he was taking leave of her, he 
plainly told her that " he did not know where he was going, 
— that he was like Jacob going over Jordan with a staff in 
his hand depending on the direction of Providence." Then 
she being of a lively and religious temper did quickly 
embrace him, " The God of Jacob take care of you," and so 
left. His friends and the parish were most unwilling to let 
him away, and offered to raise a salary for him. But he 
vigorously resisted that snare, though he was very uneasy 
for leaving his passionately beloved widow, who soon after 
was married to a gentleman who had an income to make her 
live. Yet Adam retained an honourable affection for her for 
the space of sixty years.' 

At Crathie Mr. Fergusson ministered for 14 years with 
' comfortable success,' and was then translated to Logierait 
on the presentation of the Duke of Athole, having previously 
stipulated to obtain a call, or at least a letter, from heritors 
and people to declare their inclinations to have him to be 
their pastor. ' Though,' says Dr. Lee, ' at the period of his 
induction the parishioners were almost universally hostile to 
Presbyterian principles he speedily secured the respect and 
admiration of all ranks.' 

A portion of the Ms. is here wanting, and it is left un- 
finished. But the concluding pages contain an interesting 
account of a conversation with the Earl of Mar, leader of the 
rising of 1715. In September 1715 Mar left his army at 
Moulin and came to Logierait to meet the Earl of Breadalbane. 


' While he was there he called for Mr. Fergusson, being of 
his acquaintance while he lived in Mar. He applauded him 
for his prudence for not leaving the place on his coming to 
it, as some of his brethren had done in other places, and told 
him that in England there was a full design to call home 
the King, that Lord North and Grey was at the head of 
10,000 horse, that loyalty was hereditary in his family, and 
that none of his predecessors was more inclined to it than 
himself, although the state of affairs did not allow him an 
opportunity to declare it till the present time, that offered 
so fair to break the union with England and get other 
grievances oppressive to Scotland redressed. To all this Mr. 
Fergusson replied that he did wish his family well, but was 
doubtful the means he was to use would in no way contribute 
to its support. As he was going away the Earl told him 
since he had the King's commission for being general of his 
forces in Scotland (which was not the case) he would not 
allow him to preach the next day, nor be his hearer, unless 
he would promise to pray for the King. Mr. Ferguson assured 
him his lordship should not have occasion to be absent from 
the public worship on that account, since he always prayed 
for the King. Then the Earl told him he meant King James. 
Mr. Fergusson replied he did not know any such King. 
Then his Lordship said that he was our natural Prince, and 
that he had no orders from him to use any rigour to the 
Presbyterians, but on the contrary to assure them that it was 
in their power to secure the continuing of the government of 
the Church of Scotland. To which Mr. Fergusson said that 
he believed that might be on the condition that they would 
countenance his undertaking. Just so, saith he. Then Mr. 
Fergusson assured him that all Presbyterians in Scotland 
were so deeply engaged on the opposite side, that he believed, 
yea was sure, they would venture their all upon it. Then 
the Earl said they were great fools and would certainly ruin 
themselves; and said he would employ another to preach 
next day in the kirk of Logierait who should pray for the 
King and success to his arms. To which Mr. Fergusson 
replied that that was in his power, because he had armed 
men to assist him; but he hoped he would employ the 



Lord's day as religiously as possible, which he did by going 
to Moulin where he preached.' 

The MS. terminates in 1715. 

The following extracts from the Kirk Session Records of 
Logierait have been kindly communicated by the Rev. Mr. 
Meldrum, present minister of the parish : — 

Jan. 5, 1640. 'The Elders of the Parochine were chosen, 
17 in number, etc. In the number is " W'"- Fergusone of 
Balleuchane." ' 

1650. In a list of Elders on the fly-leaf of an old Register 
in this year are the names — ' Robert Fergussoune of Dun- 
fallandies ; Donald Fergussoune, portioner in Dalshian ; 
Alex^- Fergussoune of Belleuchane.' 

N.B. — ' Balleuchane or Belleuchane ' is at the present day 
spelt ' Bally euken.' 

1757, Dec. 4. In a list of Elders of this date is 'Finlay 
Fergusson of Middlehaugh.' 

1773, May 16. ... 'James Fergusson in Dunfallendie.' 
At Heritors' Meetings in the middle of last century ' Baron 
Fergusson of Dunfallandy ' was either present or represented 
by an agent. 

The Rev. Adam Fergusson, formerly at Qrathie and 
Braemar, was inducted Minister of Logierait on 22nd Novr. 
1714, and died July 30th, 1754. He left a legacy of 300 
merks for the Poor of the Parish — the Session's 'Security 
for which is Contained in a Clause of the Principle Dis- 
position of the lands of West Mihi.' 

1775, Nov. 5. ' The minister (Mr. Bisset) gave in to the 
Session a missive from Mr. Fergusson of West Miln acknow- 
ledging his Father's Mortification of Three hundred Merks.' 

1715, Sep. 25. ' No sermon : y® minister being at Moulin, 
and Mar's armie camped here.' 

1715, Nov. 20. ' No sermon : the minister being with His 
Grace the Duke of Atholl at Blair.' 

Memo. — 'The min"" being keeped prisoner by a partie of 
Mar's Armie for some days, made his escape in the night 
upon the fyfth of December, and continued at Blair Castle 


w* his Grace the Duke of Atholl for eight weeks, untill the 
troubles of y^ nation were quieted.' 

1719, 2Qth A^ml. 'No sermon: the minister being with 
the Duke of Atholl at Huntingtower.' 

1724, 2'2nd NoveTYiher. 'No sermon here: the minister 
being at Huntingtower preaching to the Dutchess of Atholl 
and family, after His Grace the Duke dyed. He left an 
hundred pounds to y^ poor of our parish, and dyed on 
Saturday, the 14*^ Current, at Eight in y^ morning, uttering 
these remarkable words as his last farewell to his family, — 
" I command and charge that all my house after me fear and 
worship the Lord as I endeavoured to do." ' 

'Mr. Adam Fergusson,' Mr. Meldrum adds, 'must have 
been an able and accomplished cleric, gaining the good will 
and lasting gratitude of his parishioners. He must have 
been their prophet and priest — their guide, philosopher, and 
friend. His method and industry are amply indicated in 
two volumes of the Kirk-Session Records, which were care- 
fully and neatly written out under his own hand. 

' He was the first Presbyterian Minister of Logierait after 
the Eevolution. His predecessors were Mr. James and Mr. 
Mungo Moray (father and son) of the family of Ochtertyre — 
who served the cure from 1650 to 1714 — their service being 
after the Episcopal order. On the death of Mungo Moray 
the Duke of Atholl's patronage rights were contested by the 
Earl of Mansfield, whose nominee was an Episcopalian, Mr. 
George Robertson, of the Robertsons of Killiechangie. The 
Duke, however, succeeded in asserting his right to present to 
the Parish, which was given to Mr. Fergusson.' 

The Rev. Adam Fergusson's ^ connection with Crathie and 
friendship with the Deeside Farquharsons is commemorated 
by educational endowments open to lads of the names of Far- 
quharson, Ferguson, and Macdonald, and his influence is said 
to have been effective in dissuading the Laird of Invercauld 
from taking part in the Jacobite rising, and thus saving his 
family from the disaster that overtook so many of his gallant 

1 For notices of his ministerial life, from the Fasti Scoticance Ecclesice, see 


clansmen. Strong in his own attachment to the established 
order, Adam Fergusson was able to do much in favour of his 
many Jacobite friends, whose adherence to the unfortunate 
cause rendered the good offices of a friend of Government very 
necessary to them. An indication of this is found in the 
letter (in the Baledmund Papers) in which he announces the 
arrest of his own chief, the young Laird of Dunfallandy, and 
it is also borne witness to by the traditions of Deeside. He 
took an active part in ecclesiastical affairs, and was the leader 
in the Synod of Perth of the party opposed to the Erskines 
at the time of the First Secession. He survived to 30th 
July 1754. 

The followmg delightfully quaint record was copied by 
Mary Ferguson, widow of Robert Ferguson, M.D., from a 
manuscript of the old minister of Logierait, in the possession 
of Mrs. Hepburn, at Colquhalzie, about the year 1870 : — 

* Upon the 25th of December 1705 Mr. Adam Fergusson, 
Minister of Crathie, and Mary Gordon, daughter of Patrick 
Gordon of Halhead,^ were maryed at Halhead by Mr. James 
Robertson, minister at Glenmurthly, and had children as 
follows : — 

' Upon Saturday ye second day of November 1706 Mary 
was born between three and four a cloak in ye morning, and 
was next day baptized by Mr. James Robertson, minister at 
Glenmuick, in presence of ye whole congregation of Crathie, 
it bein ye Lord's day. 

* Upon Saturday, ye day of August 1708 Charles 
was born about ten of ye cloak at night, and was upon ye 
sixteinth baptized by Mr. Alexander Toask, minister at Tar- 
land, befor witnesses, it being Monday. Died at Port Royal, 
Jamaica, Oct. 1743. 

' Upon Wensday, ye thirtieth and iirst day of May 1710, 

^ Now Wolrige-Gordon of Hallhead and Esslemont. The mother of Mary 
Gordon above mentioned was Isabella Byres, daughter of Patrick Byres, Laird 
of Eastercoates, near Edinburgh [afterwards of Tonley, in Aberdeenshire], 
who was son of Sir John Byres, Knight, sometime Lord Provost of Edinburgh. 
Mary's sister, Isabella, was married to Mr. Black, a rich wine merchant of 
Bordeaux. Their daughter married Mr. Burnett, a merchant of Aberdeen, 
and Burnett's daughter, Katy, married her cousin, Professor Adam Ferguson, 
youngest son of the minister of Logierait, in 1766. — Note by R. N. R. F. 


Anna was born at Bauemor, betwixt nyne and ten of ye cloak 
at night, and upon Munday ye fyfth day of June was baptised 
at Cratbie by Mr. James Robertson, minister at Glenmuick 
befor witnesses, and dyed upon ye ii day of September 

'Upon Thursday ye twentie seventh of December 1711 
Alexr. was born Balomore, about two of ye cloak in ye 
morning, and was next day baptized by Mr. James Robertson, 
minister of Glenmuick. 

' Upon Friday, ye twentie first of August 1713 John was 
born at Balomore, about twelve of ye cloak at night, and was 
baptized befor ye Congregation at Crathie upon ye twentieth 
and third of that month by Mr. James Robertson, minister 
of Glenmuick, and dyed of a decay in a very desirable fram 
ye 22 July 1724. 

' Upon Munday, ye twentie eight day of September 1715 
Janet was born at Logierait, about five of ye cloak at night, 
and was upon Saturday ye first October, baptised by Mr. 
James Stewart, minister at Moulin. 

' Upon ye Lord's day ye twentieth and seventh day of 
October 1717 years Patrick was born at Logirait, betwixt 
eleven and twelve of ye cloak at night, and was upon Tuesday 
yrafter baptis'd by Mr. James Stewart, minister of Mouline, 
being ye twenty nynth day. Died in Port Royal in Jamaica 
18 March 1747. 

' Upon Monday ye 30th day of November 1719 years 
Robert was born at Logierait, half an hour after seven in ye 
mornin', and was baptised ye second day of December yrafter 
by Mr. James StcAvart, minister of Mouline. 

' Upon Thursday ye 20 day of June 1723 Adam was borne 
at Logirait, about 6 in ye morning, and baptised on ye next 
day by Mr. James Stewart, minister at Moulin.' 



Born 20th June 1723 at Logierait, Perthshire; died at St. Andrews, 
2 2nd February 1816. Aged 92. 

The following account ^ of this most distinguished man, the 
youngest son of the old minister of Logierait, is given in the 
Edinburgh Revieiu for January 1867 (vol. cxxv.): — 

' If we were asked to name a single Scotchman who should 
be typical of the whole race in appearance, character, tastes, 
and fortunes, we should not hesitate to pitch on Adam 
Ferguson. Hard yet kindly, hot tempered and outspoken, 
but very prudent and judicious, old Adam had many claims 
besides his professed stoicism to be regarded as a Scottish 
Oato. Do but look at him in that picture which hangs in the 
vestibule of the University Library at St. Andrews. He is 
ninety years old, but except that time has still farther 
sharpened and deepened the lines of his shrewd and somewhat 
scornful face, he is just as Lord Cockburn described him twenty 
years before, when he was " a spectacle worth beholding." 

' His hair was silky and white ; his eyes animated and light 
blue; his cheeks sprinkled with broken red like autumnal 
apples, but fresh and healthy. His lips thin, and the under 
one curled. A severe paralytic attack had reduced his animal 
vitality though it left no external appearance, and he required 
constant artificial heat. His raiment therefore consisted of 
half-boots lined with fur, cloth breeches, a long cloth waist- 
coat with capacious pockets, a single-breasted coat, a cloth 
greatcoat also lined with fur, and a felt hat commonly tied 
by a ribbon below the chin. His boots were black, but 
with this exception the whole coverings, including the hat, 
were of a Quaker grey colour or of a whitish-brown ; and he 
generally wore the furred greatcoat even within doors. 
When he walked forth he used a tall staff, which he com- 
monly held at arm's-length out towards the right side ; and 
his two coats, each buttoned by only the upper button, 
flowed open below and exposed the whole of his curious and 

^ Contributed by R. N. R. Ferguson. 


venerable figure. His gait and air were noble. His gesture 
slow, his look full of dignity and composed fire. He looked 
like a philosopber from Lapland. His palsy ought to have 
killed him in his fiftieth year, but rigid care enabled him to 
live uncrippled in body or mind nearly fifty years more.' 
{Memorials, p. 49.) 

The general outlines ^ of the singularly complete and, for a 
man of letters, exceptionally eventful life that had painted 
itself with such bold touches on the external aspect of the 
octogenarian are well known. The spirited young chaplain 
of the ' Black Watch ' who disobeyed orders that he might 
fight in the front ranks at Fontenoy (11th May 1745 — he was 
then twenty-one);^ the predecessor of Dugald Stewart in the 
Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh (held from 1764 to 
1785), the secretary (in 1778) to the Commission that was 
sent to make the last effort at conciliation during the First 
American War, the historian of Rome (1782), the friend of 
Adam Smith, and Hume, and Blair, and Robertson, and 
Gibbon — no wonder, when he had outlived his great con- 
temporaries, that his face read like a history, and his whole 
aspect Avas weird-like to the next age. 

Adam's history for eighteen years after Fontenoy (1745) 
may be dismissed in a few words. He remained chiefly as 
chaplain with his regiment at home and abroad till about 
1754. At this period his father's death occurred, and the 
Church of Logierait, which was in the gift of the Seventh 
Duke of Athole, and in which he had hoped to succeed his 
fine old parent, was not offered to him. It is said he was too 
proud to ask for it. He felt the slight very keenly, retired 
to Holland, and finally abandoned the clerical profession. 
Writing to Adam Smith from Groningen, in October 1754, 
he requests him to address him in reply without any clerical 
titles, ' for I am a downright layman.' 

In 1757, Adam succeeded his friend David Hume in the 
librarianship of the Advocates' Library, which he gave up in 

i These memoranda are compiled mainly from Professor Lorimer's article 
in the Edinburgh Review and the Dictionary of National Biogi-aphy, with 
family papers. 

^ In a burgess ticket of the city of Perth, dated 3rd September 1757, he is 
designed as Capellanum Regimini Monticularum. 


no long time on undertaking the education of Lord Bute's 
sons. In this year arose the well-known controversy over 
the publication of Douglas, by John Home.^ 

Ferguson took part in this controversy by writing a pamphlet 
On the Morality of Stage Plays, which he defended as in- 
directly sanctioned by scripture and directly by the Fathers 
of the Church. It is even said (though the story is probably 
apocryphal) that at his mature age of thirty-three he acted 
' Lady Randolph ' in the famous rehearsal of Douglas, in which 
Dr. Blair, the minister of the High Church, is represented as 
having also taken a female part, and duly appearing in petti- 
coats as ' Anna,' the maid. 

In July 1759 he was appointed Professor of Natural Philo- 
sophy in the University of Edinburgh. The class was to 
meet in October, and in the brief interval Adam acquired a 
sufficient knowledge of physics to discharge his duties satis- 
factorily, a feat which led David Hume to pay him a some- 
what ironical compliment on his extraordinary genius. It 
was during the five years that he held this appointment that 
he was mainly instrumental in converting the ' Select 
Society' which Allan Ramsay had established some years 
before into the more famous ' Poker ' Club, to which nearly 
the whole of the celebrities of Edinburgh belonged. The 
name was suggested by Ferguson as having for the club 
members an obvious meaning, enigmatic to others. 

In 1763 two of the sons of the Earl of Warwick, Charles 
and Robert Greville, were entrusted to Adam (then forty 
years old), and the tutor he employed to superintend their 
studies was a stalwart young Highlander, called John 
Macpherson, son of the minister of Sleat in Skye, then one of 

^ Home, 1722-1808, educated at the University of Edinburgh, where he 
was the friend and companion of Robertson, Adam Ferguson, and Alexander 
Carlyle. He was made a probationer of the Kirk in 1745, and in 1747 became a 
minister in East Lothian. In 1755 his tragedy of Doiujla.s was rehearsed in Edin- 
burgh, and on the 14th December 1756 was publicly performed, and enthusi- 
astically received. However, the Kirk resented the publication of a play by a 
minister as an outrage. Alexander Carlyle, then a minister, who was present 
at the play, was prosecuted by the Kirk, and Home was cited to appear 
before the Presbytery of Haddington. This he would not do, and even- 
tually he resigned the Kirk in June 1757. He died at Merchiston in 
September 1808. 


his own students, and subsequently Sir John Macpherson ^ 
(in June 1776), who succeeded Warren Hastings as Governor- 
General of India (February 1785 to September 1786). Of all 
his pupils Macpherson was the most loving and devoted. 'The 
life of this remarkable man/ says the Edinburgh Reviewer, 
* was a positive romance, the ideal life of a Scoto-Indian, and 
it is strange that it has attracted so little attention.' 

1764 was a great year in Adam's life. In it he was 
appointed to the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the Uni- 
versity of Edinburgh, which he had long coveted. His 
lectures, as might have been expected, where to the ripe 
wisdom and learning of the philosopher were joined the 
experiences of the soldier and the man of the world, were 
exceedingly popular with the students, and were attended by 
many non-academical members of the upper classes of Edin- 
burgh society, and by the most distinguished men of the 

1 J ohn Macpherson was not only the constant correspondent of the Professor 
through life, but the kind and good friend of all the family. The Professor's 
youngest boy (Admiral Ferguson) was his godchild. It was Macpherson who 
procured for my grandfather, 'Bob,' the Professor's nephew, a start in India. 
He was not less kind to my father, Robert Ferguson, M.D., who has left it 
on record that ' I lived much with him in my boyhood.' We find him in his 
old age writing thus to my grandfather, from Farm, near Tunbridge- Wells, oh 
the 23rd January 1815 : — 'I was glad to receive your good and friendly letter of 
the 15th, and to learn that your son [my father, then aged fifteen], who is a 
real and justly esteemed favourite of mine, is doing so well. I will be happy 
to recommend him to Sir Robert Wigrani and Sir William Fraser, etc. . . . 
My godson Captain Ferguson [then aged thirty] has been in Scotland for 
some months. I have had late good accounts of his worthy father's [the 
Professor's] health and good spirits. I ought to be thankful for the state of 
my own health. ... I have closed my seventieth year . . . believe me, 
with my best good wishes for your health and happiness, and the prosperity 
of all good Fergusons, yours most sincerely, John Macpherson.' 

In another of his letters (Brompton Grove, 23rd March 1816), we find my 
father setting the shocking schoolboy precedent of refusing a 'tip.' Sir J. 
writes to my grandfather, ' your excellent son was with me here, and I was 
quite pleased with his conversation and good conduct in all respects. When 
I offered him a little cash present, he said he did not wish to accept any, as 
his father gave him liberally all he could have occasion for.' My father 
describes Sir John as ' 6 feet 4 high, and called "the gentle giant."' His 
portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds is in my possession. The face is in the 
highest degree attractive. This part of the painting is still in good preserva- 
tion, but the rest is a sad wreck. Sir John died unmarried in Brompton 
Grove, on the 12th January 1821. 


But an exceedingly important event in his career was 
impending, and in 1766 Adam, at the somewhat mature age 
of forty-three, married Miss Catherine Burnet of Aberdeen- 
shire, the niece of his first cousin, great friend and colleague 
Joseph Black.1 

I feel sure that all the readers of these Records will be 
interested by the letters which passed in connection with 
the engagement. It is pleasant to relate that the marriage 
was an exceedingly happy one, and that Adam and his wife 
lived together for thirty years. 

I. To Miss Katy Burnet, at Mr. James Burnet's, Merchant, 


Edinburgh, September 1766. 

My dear Miss Katy, — A letter from me may possibly 
surprise you. I was very sorry to be obliged to leave Aber- 
deen without preparing you more gradually for the subject 
of it ; but I hope that you will overlook every circumstance 
in the manner, for the sake of the very sincere good intention 

* Jos. Black, M.D. (1728-1799) was born at Bordeaux, the son of John 
Black, a wine merchant, by a daughter of Robert Gordon of the Gordons of 
Hallhead in Aberdeenshire. He was a friend of Montesquieu. He was a 
medical student at Edinburgh in 1750 or 1751 ; appointed to the Chair of 
Medicine at Glasgow in 1756 ; in 1766, Professor of Medicine and Chemistry 
in the University of Edinburgh. During more than thirty years he incul- 
cated the Elements of Chemistry upon enthusiastic and continually growing 
audiences ; and attendance on his lectures became even a fashionable amuse- 
ment. Black was a prominent member of the intellectual society of Edin- 
burgh, among his intimates, besides Adam Ferguson, being Hume, Hutton, 
A. Carlyle, Dugald Stewart, Robertson, and Adam Smith, Though grave and 
reserved, he was gentle and sincere, and it is recorded of him that he never 
lost a friend. His countenance was placid and exceedingly engaging. He 
died on the 6th December 1799 under very curious circumstances. ' Being 
at table,' Ferguson relates, 'with his usual fare, some bread, a few prunes, 
and a measured quantity of milk diluted with water, and having the cup in 
his hand when the last stroke of the pulse was to be given, he appeared to 
have set it down on his knees which were joined together, and in the action 
expired, without spilling a drop, as if an experiment had been purposely 
made to evince the facility with which he departed.' Fourcroy called him 
' The Nestor of the chemistry of the eighteenth century ; ' Lavoisier acknow- 
ledged himself his disciple. He was a member of the Paris and St. Petersburg 
Academies of Sciences, and of the Society of Medicine of Paris, as well as of 
the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and of the Royal College of Physicians. 
He was, besides, tirst Physician to His Majesty for Scotland. 


from which I act. The esteem and the love with which I am 
seized to you make me earnestly desire a much more near 
relation than that which has produced me the happiness of 
your acquaintance. If the tremendous name of Husband 
does not alarm you, that is the cousinship which I wish to 
bear to you. I would willingly carry this request to Aber- 
deen myself, but you will perhaps rather answer a letter than 
a verbal proposal, especially if your answer be such as I 
should be sorry to find it. My happiness very nmch depends 
on your allowing me to hope that I may see you before 
winter, and return from Aberdeen, I would fain wish, in your 
company, with a heart as full of joy as it was of regret at my 
parting with you last. If this proposal be disagreeable to 
you, I shall be most sincerely afflicted ; if otherwise, do not 
torment me with reserve, where frankness would endear you 
to me so much. — I am, with a very solicitous expectation of 
your answer, your most affectionate and most humble 
servant, Adam Ferguson. 

11. To the same. 

Edinburgh, September 18th, 1766. 

My dear Miss Katy, — I am just now returned from 
Glasgow, where I have seen your uncle the doctor,^ and hope 
that what he writes to you will favour my request. I had 
written to your father before I set out from hence, and 
am very anxious to know his mind. Is it not possible to 
reckon me too among the number who have a great affection 
for you and a great concern for your happiness ? I would 
fain hope that I shall be able some time or other to make 
my title to a place in that list very clear. Meantime, I can 
only have the pleasure of writing to you and assuring you of 
a tenderness which I had rather that my actions than my 
words should express. I have barely time to overtake the 
post, and conclude with the most earnest request that, what- 
ever these gentlemen may think, you will pay some regard 
to the sincere affection with which I am, your most humble 
servant, Adam Ferguson. 

^ Professor Black. 


III. To the same. 

Edinburgh, September 20th, 1766. 

My dear Katy, — I have received a letter from your father, 
and am happy that no difficulty, either real or imaginary, has 
cast up on any quarter. It is with the utmost tenderness 
and joy that I think of you now as my own, and the happiest 
acquisition I ever made. As many circumstances at present 
make time very valuable to me, I venture to write to your 
father about every particular, and request him to settle 
matters so as to suit my present engagements. My mind is 
greatly to abridge formalities and points of ceremony. I like 
them not on any occasion, but when the heart is most of all 
affected and moved, they are impertinent to a degree of 
abomination.^ I will write no more at present, as I find I 
have my words to seek for. 

I have been in the country all day, and have hurried to 
to^vn in order to Avrite your father. I only desire that you 
will make no difficultys about trifles. — I am, with the most 
affectionate regard, my dear Kate, yours, 

Adam Ferguson. 

lY. To Mr. James Burnet, Merchant, Aberdeen. 

Edinburgh, September 20th, 1766. 

My dear Sir, — I have been in the country all day, have 
barely time to write what I wish you to know by this post, in 
answer to a letter with which you have made me so happy. I 
will think no more of doubts or difficulties of any kind. Kate 
is mine. You have a numerous family of children — I hope 
that she is among those that will need your assistance the 
least. I am averse to all solemnity, I would not even have 
you think of going to the expense of new cloths for her on 
this occasion.- I make no change in my house till she comes, 
and then she may change it as she pleases. I spoke some- 
thing about Interest in my last ; my meaning was that you 
should consider of a paper in which I may secure all I die 

^ He had written * Lothingness ' but erased it, perhaps feeling a little 
unhappy about the etymology of that word. 

- It seems a little doubtful whether the lady would appreciate this bit of 


possessed of to Kate and her children in case she survives 
ine. I am in too great a hurry to explain this at present, 
but will send you a memorandum of it by next post, and you 
may have the writing ready to be signed when I get to 
Aberdeen. Doctor Black is ready to attend me whenever I 
call for him. My situation requires the decency of some 
forms, such as being called in church, and married by a 
minister of the Established Church. If Doctor Campbell is 
at hand to perform this office, it will be very agreeable. I 
hope that the ceremony of proclamation can be got over at 
Aberdeen in less than three Sundays. I can at a day's 
warning get a certificate of my being proclaimed here, and I 
hope you can get through that affair so as to satisfy Dr. 
Campbell in much the same manner. If this can be done, I 
think you may get this letter and write an answer naming a 
particular day, so as that Dr. Black and I may be at Aberdeen 
by the end of the first week in October. My time will only 
allow me to get to Aberdeen the day before and leave it the 
day after our ceremony. Your own family is company enough 
for me on the occasion. If Mr. A. Gordon from Hallhead 
could without inconvenience be there, it would be pleasant, 
or anybody else that Kate chooses. This letter is the longer 
for being written in a hurry ; but I hope it is to be under- 
stood and that it will procure from you, by the first post, the 
nomination of a day in the first week of October, or at 
furthest in the second. Dr. Black and I will be there the 
day before. — I am, your most obliged and aflPectionate servant, 

Adam Ferguson. 

V. To Miss Katy Burnet, at Mr. James Burnet's, 
Merchant, Aberdeen. 

Edinburgh, Sejit. 22, 1766. 

My lovely Katie, — Your letter is the most pleasant I 
ever received. Doctor Black and I shall be]at Aberdeen the 
second of October in the forenoon. In the evening, about 
five or six o'clock, I expect that you will be ready with a 
clergyman to put over our ceremony, that I may not be 
detained in the place where you are without seeing you.^ 

^ This seems to have been the etiquette of those days. 


I was to have written your father about some particulars either 
forgotten or not explained in my last. Be so good as tell him 
that my residence here is in the West Kirk parish ; that is the 
designation to be put in any certificate of proclamation. Let 
him read this, that he may write me in what parish my dear 
Katie lives, if there be any distinction of parishes at Aberdeen. 
I will send him a scroll of the paper I mentioned in a post or 
two, for it requires so much time, it seems, to draw it up. I 
shall write to Doctor Black by this post to fix his coming 


here, and I hope that we shall keep our appointment most 
punctually. Till then and for ever more, my dear Kate, I am 
passionately yours, Adam Ferguson. 

VI. To the Same. 

Edinburgh, Sept. 24, 1766. 
My dear Katie, — You have a paper enclosed which I 
should have sent to your father, if it were not for the inch- 



nation I have to correspond witli you. Please deliver it to 
him : he will easily understand what forms remain on your 
part and his, and if there is anything amiss, it can be set 
to rights when we meet. It is such as a man of business 
here has scrolled for me. I have a line from your uncle the 
Doctor ^ this morning. He is to dine here on Sunday next, 
and we set out on Monday morning for Aberdeen. I told 
you what was proposed in my last. We may be at Aberdeen 
on Wednesday evening, but I at present think it will be 


pleasanter on the road than there, unless I am permitted "to 
see you, and we shall probably ly (sic) at Stonehive and 
go in to Aberdeen on Thursday the second of October, in the 
morning, to meet that afternoon, and I hope not to part 
again in a hurry. You will not be surprised at my proposing 
to leave Aberdeen again sometime on Friday the third of 

^ Professor Black. 


October; I have much to do here. But there or here, or 
wherever you axe will be Paradise and every inn on the road 
a palace. Pray write to me, that I ma}^ know you have 
received m}^ last and this, that there is no mistake, and that 
I may have the pleasure of receiving what comes from you. 
— I am, my dear Kate, most passionately yours, 

Adam Ferguson. 

We must imagine the pair now happily wedded and living 

an honourable and useful life in Edinburgh ; the famous 
Professor, we will hope, not always in such a desperate hurry 
as to find it necessary to abridge domestic enjoyment as much 
as he did the hymeneal preparations. In 1770, on the 21st 
December, their firstborn son made his appearance, and was 
christened Adam — that Adam who was the faithful and 
loving friend of Sir Walter Scott, and was called by him the 
Meny- Eaiight. Other children were born as time went on — 
namely Joseph, whose earl}" death I shall have to chronicle ; 
James, the Colonel, born in 1784: John, the Admiral; and 
three daughters celebrated in Lockhart's Life and in the 
Scott Journals aiid Letters as the Huntlyburn family. 

The following letter, written by one of these daughters, 
Isabella,^ in her youthful days, is interesting both as a young 
lady's letter of the last century and as a gHmpse into the 
family circle of the distinguished philosopher. It was 
addressed to her cousin, Janet Wilkie. The original is in 
the possession of Miss Janet Anderson, whose mother, Janet 
Anderson (nee Watson), was a grandniece of the Professor. 
Miss Anderson is the last surviving member of her family. 
The delightful spelling will amuse the reader : — 

'Argyls Squar, Tuesday. 

' My dear Jeaxxy, — We are ver}- much surprised that we 
never hear from any of you and mamma is very anxious to 
know how you all are. She wrott my dear Annt some weeks 
ago and acquinted her of my dear Pappes illness, and it was 
natoral to expect you would have maid some inquiery about 
him, but not a scrape from you or uncle Robert all this time, 
which makes us ver^^ imeasy. Pappa is continouing greatly 
better but still confined to the house, except going out in a 

1 The ' Miss Bell ' of Sir Walter's Journals. 


chase two three miles every other day. The Doctors is 
resoveld to send him to Baith (Bath). So my dear Jenny he 
my mother and your humbell servent sets out in about a fort- 
night, which will be no easy matter to leave the Dear Beams, 
but if it gives dear Pappa heilth and strength that is nothing. 
We are all very busy prepairing for this great juerney. We 
shall see the ceity of London before we return. Mary has 
been out at Musselburgh staying with Mrs. Carlyle and is to 
remain their till we return. Adam, Joseph, and Jeamy stays 
hear with Anny. We expect to hear from you when ever 
you get this. I wish you may can Read it as I am half 
asleep, ever yours, Isabella Ferguson.' 

In the year of his marriage (1766) Ferguson published his 
Essay on Civil Society and was made an LL.D. of Edin- 
burgh University, and in 1772 he published his Institutes 
of Moral Philosopliy. 

In 1778 he went to Philadelphia, and acted as secretary to 
the commission sent out to endeavour to negotiate a settle- 
ment with the American Colonies, as already stated. One of 
the commissioners was that strange character, George John- 
stone (1730-1787), known as 'Commodore' and 'Governor' 
Johnstone, whose affection for and veneration of Adam were 
shown to the end of his life both by his friendship and his 

^ Writing from Taplow to Lord Macartney (then Governor of Madras) 
on behalf of 'Bob' Ferguson, my grandfather, on the 23rd September 1785, 
Johnstone says : * My dear Lord, — Although I am so weak I can hardly hold 
my pen, yet I cannot refrain trying my strength and trying my influence 
with you in favour of Mr. Ferguson, who goes to India as a "free mariner," 
by my nomination, in the ship which carries General Campbell.' [He went 
out under this name to enable him to go to India at all. ] ' This young 
gentleman is nephew to Dr. Adam Ferguson, who was with me in America, 
who is not exceeded in wisdom or virtue by any of his race. I daresay your 
lordship has received and read his last publication of the Hhtory of the Roman 
Republic [1782], which throws a new light on these transactions, notwith- 
standing all that has been said and all that has been written on the subject. 
Young Ferguson places his chief dependence on Macpherson, and in this I am 
persuaded he will not be disappointed, as I have always considered Mac- 
pherson a worthy pupil of so great a master, and I know that he venerates 
Ferguson and his blood with a Mahommedan zeal ! . . .' 

The Professor, writing from Edinburgh on the 16th April 1785 to Sir John 
Macpherson [who had by then become Governor-General of India, February 
1785], says : ' The son [Bob], by the unalterable kindness of G. Johnston 



About the Professor's fiftieth year paralytic symptoms 
showed themselves. Under Professor Black's advice Adam 
became a vegetarian and a total abstainer. ' Wine and 
animal food ' (says Lord Cockburn) * henceforth besought his 
appetite in vain, but huge masses of milk and vegetables dis- 
appeared before him. I never heard of his dining out except 
at his relation Dr. Joseph Black's, where his son. Sir Adam, 
the friend of Scott, used to say it was delightful to see the 
two philosophers rioting over a boiled turnip.' 

In 1782 he published his History of the Progress and 
Termination of the Roman Republic, a work spoken of by 
Carlyle as ' particularly well worth reading.' 

Three years after this, at the age of sixty-two, Ferguson 
resigned the Chair of Moral Philosophy in favour of his 
friend and pupil, Dugald Stewart, because he found ' its 
duties pressed on his health and spirits.' In reference to this 
the Edinburgh Review^er says : ' Of the value attached to his 
teachings by those of his pupils who in after life had oppor- 
tunities of testing it on a great scale, he received about this 
time a striking proof in the shape of an offer from Sir John 
Macpherson to place a considerable sum of money at his dis- 
posal. The letter is too long for quotation, but if nothing 
else remained either of pupil or master, few would doubt 
that both of them were noble fellows.' 

and his insuppressable fervour in behalf of honest men, has obtained leave 
to go to India, though without any destination or appointment. . . .' 

It is very curious to contrast this ' insuppressable fervour in behalf of 
honest men ' with the very unfavourable account of this man and his career 
written by Professor J. K. Laughton in the Dictionary of National Biograjthy. 
Johnstone was the fourth son of Sir Jas. Johnstone of Westerhall, Dumfries, 
by Barbara Murray, daughter of the fourth Lord Elibank. Professor Laugh- 
ton chronicles his repudiation as a Commissioner by Congress on the ground 
of a written attempt to win over one of the American members of the com- 
mission, and his retirement from the Commission, and comments with much 
severity on {inter alia) his ' shameless and scurrilous utterances ' in Parlia- 
ment (1767), where ' his total want of fear and his adroitness with the pistol 
made him a useful addition to his party.' He was (Jovernor of West 
Florida (1763-67) and Commodore, R.N. (1779). ' He used to be commonly 
styled Governor, though with very little reason ; he is even now sometimes 
described as a politician with less : that he was commodore and had command 
of a squadron is unfortunately true. He seems to have had courage, but was 
without self-restraint, temper, or knowledge.' Sir Henry Raeburn's pictures 
of him and his wife, Miss Dee, are now in my possession. — K. N. F. 


In the winter of 1786-7 the young Walter Scott met for 
the first and last time the poet Burns at Ferguson's house. 

In 1792 he set off' in a. strange sort of carriage, with no 
companion except his servant James, to visit Italy for a new 
Edition of his Roman History. He was then sixty-nine 
years old, and he had (says Lord Cockburn) to pass through 
a good deal of war. His correspondent on this occasion was 
the ever faithful Macpherson, and his letters are wonderfully 
fresh and spirited. 

Since his retirement from the chair Ferguson had occupied 
a villa at ' the Sciennes,' near the Grange, in the suburbs of 
Edinburgh ; but the loss of his wife in 1795, and his growing 
distaste for general society, led him to seek still further 
seclusion, and he fixed his affections on the romantic castle 
of Neidpath, on the Tweed. It was then, as now, almost a 
ruin, and would have been a strange choice in any other man 
of seventy-two. As long as summer lasted he was charmed 
with his abode. ' The woods and hills are Elysian,' he wrote, 
' and the atmosphere all composed of vital air.' But the 
winter brought trials which were almost too much even for 
so hardy a plant, and Ferguson's stoicism for once failed him. 
' If anybody think me a philosopher, he is grievously mis- 
taken. I have done nothing but pest and scold inwardly' 
[perhaps outwardly also, if Lord Cockburn may be believed] 
' for three or four weeks, not to say months.' Eventually he 
removed to Hallyards, a sweet rural spot near Peebles, where 
he lived in the enjoyment of excellent health and much quiet 
felicity for the next fourteen years, farming with all the 
ardour of a young agriculturist. 

Amongst the younger generation, on whose society, like 
other older men, he must now have been mainly dependent, 
one of his most frequent visitors was Scott, the companion 
of his son Adam, who on one of these occasions, as is well 
known, made the acquaintance of the Black Dwarf Fer- 
guson's letters from Hallyards are admirable for their sedate 
playfulness and the quiet and gentle resignation which they 
exhibit to the growing infirmities of age. 

'What can I write from this post, at which my prime 
consolation is that I have nothing to do but to wait quietly 


till my time comes. ... I have in my view a most delightful 
kirkyard, retired and green, on the bank of a running water 
and facing a verdant hill, ... to me it gives the idea of 
silence and solitude away from the noise of folly; and so 
I fancy myself laid there, with a stone to tell the rustic 
moralist. ..." I have seen the works of God, it is now your 
turn ; do you behold them and rejoice." ' 

In 1808 Ferguson began to feel that the infirmities of life 
rendered it desirable that he should live in a town, so he 
took up residence at St. Andrews, the place of his own edu- 
cation,^ and that of his father, the old minister of Logierait. 

During the last eight years of his life his relish for the 
society of the Professors at the University and his other 
friends and neighbours was as hearty as ever, and his exul- 
tation in 1815, when he received the ncAvs of the battle of 
Waterloo, ' left no doubt of the truth of the assertion of 
his friend Morehead, that " still burned a Roman soul in 
Ferguson." ' 

In February 1816 he died, but (says the Reviewer) 'His 
last words, as narrated to us by one who knew him, are 
amongst the most remarkable on record. Turning to his 
daughters, who surrounded his deathbed, he exclaimed, 
" There is another world ! " ' 

The following letter from his son Captain (afterwards Sir) 
Adam Ferguson will be found of interest. It is addressed to 
Robert Ferguson (Bob), his cousin, then at 15 Clarence Place, 
Kinofsdown, Bristol, and is dated 

St. Andrews, 19//t March 1816. 

* My dear Robert, — On my arrival here a few days ago 
from my regiment in Ireland my sisters showed me your 
excellent letter condoling on the loss of our late dear Father, 
whose departure from this life was as calm and tranquil as 
the whole course of it had been upright, pure, and benevolent. 
I was much gratified to find my sisters as composed and 
well as could have been expected after such a loss, and had 
great satisfaction to find that every arrangement that the 

' He was eilucated partly at liome, partly at the Parish School of Logierait, 
afterwards in the Grammar Scliool at Perth, and in his sixteentli year he 
went to St. Andrews University, where he took an M.A. degree in July 



warmest friendship could suggest had been made by Mr. 
Cleghorn and other kind friends here. 

' The repositories were yesterday opened in presence of 
Mr. Cleghorn and Drs. Lee and Robertson, and everything, 
as might have been expected, was found in the best and 
most regular order. A will was found leaving to my 8 
sisters the house and garden here, with what little property 
he had in the funds, which, with sums in the Banker's hands 
and a Bond for £1000 will, including their pension of £200, 
leave them a clear income of £500 p. a., a sum perfectly 
sufficient to answer all their moderate wants, poor girls, from 
the long and uniform plan of oeconomical management to 
which they have been from their earliest years accustomed. 

' The will in question appoints yourself and 9 other friends 
Trustees for the purposes of it. The names of the others 
are— Sir John Macpherson ; Col. Burnett ; Mr. Campbell of 
Kailzie ; Professor James Russell ; Lord Chief Commissioner 
Adam ; Jas. Fergusson, Advocate ; Col. M'Gill ; Mr. Cleghorn ; 
and Mr. Daniel Robertson ; any three of these accepting to 
be a quorum. The business of the trust will be perfectly 
simple, and can be easily managed by the 3 Trustees resident 
here, viz.. Col. M'Gill, Mr. Cleghorn, and Dr. Robertson ; but 
I will thank you to send me a few Imes declaring your 
acceptance of the trust, to enable the lawyer to enter on the 
necessary proceedings for realising the funds thus put under 
it. I am most happy to say that my dear father has 
bequeathed to you his gold repeater watch as a slender mark 
of his affectionate regard and attachment. This is safe in 
sister Bell's custody; and the sum of £1095, 16s. 2d., being 
the reversion of your father's estate,^ is lodged in the hands 
of Ramsays and Bonar, Bankers, Edinburgh, which, along 
with the 65 Long Annuities, will be without loss of time 
conveyed to you regularly by the acting Trustees as soon as 
matters are put a little in train. Neither my brothers John, 
James, or myself have any bequest, and, under the will, only 
the reversion of that of which our dear sisters have so justly 
got the life rent. Should you wish a copy of the will sent 
you it shall be done as soon as possible. ... As to my own 

1 See the terms of old Robert Ferguson's will, page 158. 


concerns I am sorry to say that I have been for 4 months 
past suffering from a bad complaint in the joint of my right 
knee, which renders me unfit for any active duty, and Avill, 
I am afraid, compel me to retire from the service on half 
pay for a year or two to come. This is of the less consequence 
as, in the present temper of the country, no chance of pro- 
motion appears likely to be held out for a considerable time 
to come, and thank God I have a comfortable home and 3 
of the kindest and most affectionate of sisters, whose warm 
hearts cannot be more gratified than by my being with them. 
This is more than many poor fellows of the cloth at present 
set adrift have got to say. The many warm friends of my 
late Father and my brothers are all heartily disposed to assist 
in making some sort of provision for the latter part of my 
life, so that I bear up under my misfortunes as becomes the 
son of such a departed father.^ . . . Always yours most 
affectionately, Adam Ferguson.' 

'■ The following is Sir John Macpherson's letter to ' Bob,' 
relative to the Professor's death : — 

Brompton Grove, 23rrf March 1816. 

' My dear Sir, — Your letter on the loss of our inestimable 
friend does honour to you as his nephew. It is one of the 
most interesting I ever received, and I will keep it with his 
own letters, which I have regularly preserved and which 
contain treasures of friendship, philosophy, and wisdom. He 
sent me two years ago his valuable manuscripts. I shall 
take care that the public shall benefit by their contents. 
... I consider him, from his publications and my perfect 
knowledge of him and correspondence with him from the 
year 1765, as the Caledonian who has rendered the best 
services to his native country and the age in which he lived. 

* I have invariably, as my letters to him progressively 
testify, attributed to his instruction the success of the public 
measures which I had the good Fortune to carry through in 
India. His ideas and those of the great Montesquieu were 
my constant guides. 

^ He went on half pay in the following October, and in 1817 became, 
mainly through Scott, Keeper of the Regalia of Scotland, so that his money 
troubles were over thereafter. 


' I have had most interesting letters from Mr. Colquhoun 
at St. Andrews, and expect more soon, relative to the aft'airs 
of our late friend. I will accordingly get a frank and write 
to you about their contents before long. . . . Believe me, my 
dear friend, yours most faithfully, and with my best wishes 
for your health and prosperity, John Macpherson.' 

This article may fittingly conclude with the following- 
words of Robert Ferguson, M.D. He writes : — 

' Professor Adam Ferguson was greater in his moral than 
even his intellectual life. His everyday influence was such 
that even his children never found it common and familiar, 
and I knew from one and all of them how deeply they 
reverenced his nature. Most of his celebrated contempo- 
raries — Robertson, Hume, Adam Smith, Home, Carlyle, etc., 
whatever, if any, their mental superiority over him, had 
some strong foible ; my grand uncle, none. His judgment, 
therefore, on men and measures, exhibited in his Roman 
Republic, are those of a lofty nature, and nothing shows this 
more than his views of Caesar.' 

Professor Adam now sleeps well in the romantic old 
churchyard of St. Andrews, and the epitaph which Sir 
Walter wrote upon him records the virtues of one who served 
well his fellow-men in his day and generation, and was both 
a great and a good man. 


In a letter dated 16th April 1785, from Professor Adam 
Ferguson to Sir John Macpherson, he speaks of Robert, his 
elder brother, the subject of this little memoir, as 'one of 
the honestest men that ever lived,' and he adds, with regard 
to the old man's son, ' Bob,' that he has reason to believe that 
the latter ' inherits part of his father's sense and worthyness.' 

The following graphic account of honest old Robert, 
written in 1845, has been left on record by his grandson, 
Robert Ferguson, M.D. : — 

' My grandfather was one of, I think, 18 children ' ^ [of the 
old minister of Logierait]. ' He ran away from the paternal 
manse and entered as cabin boy to some privateers, and 

^ There were only nine. — R. N. F. 


ultimately became himself a noted sailor and adventurer. 
He was a man of iron nerves ; powerfully built though barely 
above the middle size. My father used to entertain me 
whole evenings with anecdotes of my grandfather, which he 
himself gathered by stealth, for it appeared he never dared 
communicate frankly Avith him ; and from these I infer that 
m those days of slaving, largely encouraged by Government, 
and of privateering, he was a man self taught in the midst 
of a hazardous and buccaneering life, in which he was noted 
for an extreme independence which would not permit him 
to accept the usual courtesies of society but most sparingly. 

' lie amassed a large fortune and purchased with it planta- 
tions in America, where he settled until the war of Inde- 
pendence drove him without a regret to his native land, a 
comparative beggar until a pension was obtained for him.^ 

' He never, or almost never, spoke to any one, but none the 
less he was a welcome guest to his few friends, at whose 
houses he was most solicitous never to outstay his welcome. 

' Himself most energetic, he despised the want of it in 
others. He was feared and respected by his brothers, especi- 
ally by the historian Adam ; but it was a rule among them 
never to believe that there was anything irregular {i.e. 
unusual) in him. He hated enquiry and they feared to make 
any. He came and went equally silently.' [It is amusing 
here to recall the allusion made by old Robert to his brother 
the Professor, in a letter to Bob of 24th March 1787:— 'I 
know nothing of his worldly circumstances, he is not very 
communicative nor inquisitive.' Apparently there was good 
reason for Professor Adam's want of curiosity.] 

We get a delightful glimpse of old Robert in a letter from 
Captain James Fergusson,^ Deputy Governor of Greenwich 
Hospital (dated Greenwich, 7th February 1788), to Bob Fer- 
guson in India. 

' Your worthy father was well when I last heard from 
him. You know he is settled at Perth and has been twice in 
London smce he settled there. The last sunnner he was at 

^ From allusions in his letters 1 infer that Professor Adam must have had 
a good deal to do with procuring this pension for his brother. — R. N. F. 
2 See Chapter iv.— * Fergussous in Aberdeenshire.' 


my house some days, well and hearty, but so delicate m 
giving trouble, as he calls it, that I could not prevail on him 
to pass a few weeks with me. . . . You know he is a philoso- 
pher, thinking what is is best, always seemingly content. He 
told me he was happily lodged in a comfortable house, and 
being the tennant (sic) of a wealthy batchelor, they joined 
their pence, sent to market, and eat and drank to their liking. 
We correspond together. He every now and then sends me 
relishers of salmon or trout, and in return I send him a 
cheese, as I know he enjoys it when on his holiday excursions, 
which he makes more than 3 times a week, if fish can be 
taken with a fly.' 

But to a person of old Robert's temperament a double 
menage was a somewhat risky experiment, and as a matter of 
fact it did not last, and Robert eventually set U}) in another 
house on his own account. ' There,' says his grandson, ' he 
remained alone. In the evenings he was always seen leading 
an old pony to the pond himself, followed by a crowd of 
young urchins who left their play and looked on silently, and 
fearfully day after day. My father told me the effect on him- 
self ^ was the same, and that he never dared ask a question, 
and that all his father's commands were in few and authorita- 
tive words, or by a simple gesture.' Dr. Robert adds, ' My 
father groaned under his discipline when a full-grown man, 
unable to resist his more confirmed power of will.' 

Poor Bob ! the same parental imperiousness under which 
he suffered so grievously in America and at Perth, before he 
sailed to India in 1785, is amusingly evident in old Robert's 
letters to his son after the latter had arrived at Calcutta. 
Bob himself was twenty-five or twenty-six years old when he 
set out for the East. He had held a sort of civil-militar}^ 
appointment with the English army during the American War 
(1775-82), involving, young as he then was, considerable re- 
sponsibility, and at one time the provisioning of a whole garri- 
son. He was by no means lacking in brains, he was a man 
of good principles, he had powerful friends ; and at his time 
of life and with his active experiences he may not un- 
reasonably have thought that he was tolerably capable of 
walking alone now, without being treated like a child, and 


without being addressed in letter after letter in the spirit of 
' the young man's counsellor.' But this was evidently not the 
father's opinion, and one can imagine the unfortunate son 
wincing and groaning as he read letters which, in the midst 
of all the strong affection which evidently appeared in them, 
told him to be ' tractable, faithfull, and diligent,' that his 
father ' expects ' that he will remain contented with his present 
situation till his own good behaviour points out a further 
line of promotion for him — that he ought to save half his 
income — that ' it is my wish that you would rather depend 
on your own integrity and diligence than on anything which 
can be done for you by letters ' — that it is rather too early in 
life for him to be talking about competency and independ- 
ence, and that his ' business ' is to be ' patient and diligent ' in 
his present station — that he must be more cautious in future 
in putting his money ' into the hands of idle youngsters,' and 
finally that his father trusts in God he will never be guilty of 
the crime of forgery. 

Nor was stout old Robert quite the man to appeal to for 
soft sympathy on the subject of aches and pains. Bob has 
evidently become rather sorry for himself, and has written an 
account of his sufferings to his father, with the result that he 
is told (July 1788), 'you should not alarm yourself too much 
about the pain in your breast. I have been afflicted with the 
same almost all my life and am now in my sixty-ninth year.' 
Bob tries again in 1795, and is told (March 1796) * I am sorry 
to find that you still labour under a troublesome pain in 
your breast. All the consolation that I can give you on that 
head is that from my infancy I have had the same complaint, 
with a frequent spitting of blood which alarmed me nuich in 
my younger days, but now that I have outlived almost all 
my former acquaintances I think very little about it,' and 
then the worthy old fellow gives Bob, who has probably been 
suffering many things at the hands of physicians, a practical 
hint, the value of which will be appreciated by every one who 
reads this and has tried it. * I always find more relief from 
moderate journeys on horseback than from any prescription 
of the Faculty.' 

Short as these letters are, and few in number, the pictures 


they give us of the old ruined buccaneer's life and character 
are truly delightful. I proceed to quote from some of them. 
He dates from Perth : — 

March 1787. 'There is no alteration in my own affairs 
since you left me. I can recover nothing from America. 
New England is all in confusion and under arms ; my allow- 
ance of £90 a year from Gov** still continues, which not only 
furnishes me with what I call a comfortable subsistence, but 
also enables me to assist some poor relations.' . . . 

J%ily 1788. ' My £90 still continues to me, nor have I any- 
thing further to expect from that quarter nor indeed from any 
other, but I am still contented, nor am I a shilling indebted 
to any man. Should you remit any money to England dur- 
ing my life I shall endeavour to lodge it in the funds for your 
use, as I may probably rubb {sic) through the short re- 
mainder of my life without being burdensome to any of my 
frends.' . . . 

Nov. 1788. ' I enjoy my ordinary state of health, nor am 
I discontented. It is a considerable addition to my happiness 
to learn from all your letters that you are doing well. My 
brother, the Professor at Edinburgh, enjoys better health 
than he has done for several years past.' 

May 1790. ' My brother at Edinburgh is very infirm, dis- 
abled by an apoplectic stroke. I enjoy toUerable health for a 
man at my time of life, being now turned of 70 years. I 
pray for the continuance of your health and prosperity.' 

March 1791. ' There is no alteration in my own affairs. I 
am now upwards of 70 years of age, enjoy tollerable health, 
live very recluse, take all the exercise I can, my wants are 
but few and I am contented.' . . . 

Aug. 1791. 'Although I hope that you will never have 
occasion for any trifle that I may leave behind at my death, 
I, about 2 years ago made a will in your favour, and failing of 
you in favour of my brother the Professor and his eldest son 
Adam, whom I have appointed my executors, at the same 
time allotting most of the interest towards the support, dur- 
ing their lives, of a brother and sister who are older than 


myself, and whom I at present supply Avitli nearly half my 
mcome ; my own wants being but few.' 

Oct. 1793. *I have to lament the death of our worthy 
friend, Duncan Stewart, who died at London some Aveeks 
ago. Fewe or none of my old friends are now remaining. I 
have enjoyed better health last summer than in some years 
past, but whether or not I shall rub through the winter is 
very uncertain.' . . . 

Oct. 1794. . . , ' I am happy to learn that you are verging 
towards a state of independency. You say that it will be 4 
or 5 years before you can leave India. I do not expect to 
live to see you, which is of very little consequence providing 
you are well and happy. Passages during the present bloody 
war are extremely dangerous and precarious. ... As for my- 
self I have enjoyed tollerable health last winter and this 
summer, and am much easier in my circumstances than when 
you left me, partly owing to the cheap living in this place, 
and partly owing to some remittances that I have received 
from Newport (America). Adam is studying the law at Edin- 
burgh. His father (the Professor) is lately arrived in good 
health from Italy where he spent the last winter. This is a 
very pleasant place during the summer, and the winter much 
milder than at Newport. We have very fine walks along the 
riverside, which is as clear as cristal and abounding in salmon 
and trout.' 

March 1795. 'I have enjoyed better health this winter 
than for some years past at the same season, although the 
winter has been the severest that has been felt in P]urope 
since the year 1740.' 

Nov, 1795. ' I am still going about and enjoy tollerably 
good health. I continue to receive some small remittances 
from Newport. As most of my acquaintances are gone I lead 
a recluse life without being uneasy. My fishing rod diverts 
me in summer and a book or newspaper in winter.' 

But the end was not far off now, and he writes on bth 
March 1796:— 

* I have enjoyed tollerable health this winter but am fro- 


quently troubled with a giddiness, a weakness in my eyes 
and a feebleness in my limbs, which are often the attendants 
of old age. ... I hope that the next campaign may put an 
end to this most horrid and bloody war, and that you may 
have a safe passage (home) free from any apprehension of an 
attack from the enemy.' 

8th Aug. 1796. . . . 'I have been struck with a paralytic 
stroke which has disabled me much. A recovery at my time 
of life is not to be expected, but as the fever which attended 
it is much abated, I may perhaps stagger along some moneths 
(sic) longer, but whether I shall rub through next winter is 
very doubtfull. The warr (sic) still continues, and this coun- 
try is become extremely expensive ; every article of life is 
double the price when you left it. The Professor and his 
family I am told are well. I have not heard from Newport for 
18 months, nor do I expect any further remitt^^^ from there.' 

This is the last letter in the collection. In February 1797 
this truly noble old man died, and Professor Adam writes to 
Bob from Hallyards on the 1st March 1797 : — 

' My dear Sir, — I am sorry to acquaint you of your worthy 
father's departure from this life. At his age the event is not 
a matter of surprise, and he met it with great calmness and 
in the full possession of all his faculties to the last, though 
under much suffering and bodily distress. In the course of 
last year he had a paralytic stroke from which he in a great 
measure recovered ; but in winter he became dropsical, and 
suffered so much from a stifling in his breast that for many 
weeks before his death he could not be laid in a bed. I en- 
close for your satisfaction copies of his will executed some 
years ago, and of a codicil subjoined during his last illness, in 
both of which he has with great humanity attended to the 
necessities of poor and deserving relations, by allotting certain 
annuities for which I make no doubt his funds are sufficient, 
although I have not yet received a particular state of them. 
This my son is now making out from the papers which are in 
his hands, and of which we shall transmit a copy to you. It 
was difficult to save much from the wreck of a fortime which 
was on the losing side of a great revolution; but there is 


reason to believe that lie recovered as much as could be 
expected, and he lived in this country with but little expense 
besides some of the charities which he has continued in his will. 

' I reproach myself frequently for not more regularly 
acknowledging the letters with which you have favoured me. 
Not being much a man of business my habits have been 
during great part of my life to defer and procrastinate letters, 
till there was a danger of their being forgotten altogether ; 
and as most of my friends know this failing, and that I would 
not neglect any matter of consequence, they were ever ready 
to forgive me, which I hope you will also, and not discon- 
tinue to me the satisfaction of hearing of your welfare. 

' I send this little packet to my friend Sir John Macpherson, 
who I hope will forward it and direct it properly. As I have 
taken to a country life at this place you will please direct 
3'our letters accordingly to me at Hallyards. . . . Most aftec- 
tionately yours. Adam Ferguson.' 

The codicil above referred to, dated 4th January 1797, I 
think worth quoting almost entire : — 

' Know all men by these presents, I Mr. Robert Fergusson, 
presently residing in Perth. Whereas I sometime ago 
executed a deed or later will which is not at present in my 
custody, by which I appointed my brother, Professor Adam 
Ferguson, and Adam Ferguson his son to be my executors 
for behoof of Robert Ferguson my son, and being now 
resolved to make a codicil thereto, I do hereby appoint, bind, 
and oblige my said executors and son to consent to pay to 
each of my nieces aftermentioned, but whose names I do not 
at present recollect, a yearly free annuity of £10 sterling 
during each of their lives. . . . The nieces I allude to are 
the 2 daughters of my brother Alexander Ferguson, now in 

Coupar Angus ; Miss Wilkie, at present immarried, 

daughter of my sister, Janet Ferguson, relict of the deceased 

Wilkie, in Coupar Angus ; and the daughters, either 

3 or 4 I think, of my said brother, Professor Ferguson at 
Edinburgh. But it is hereby declared that in case the 
interest of my free funds and effects which I shall die 
possessed of, after my debts and fimeral expenses are 


deducted, shall not be sufficient for answering the amount 
of the said annuities, then they are to be restricted to such a 
sum as the said interest will afford to pay ; but whatever the 
interest may arise to, the annuities are not to exceed the 
sum of £10 sterling to each of my nieces above mentioned. 
And further, I appoint my said executors and son immediately 
after my death to deliver to the said Professor Adam Ferguson, 
my brother, my watches, silver spoons, a small pocket tele- 
scope, and a gold-headed cane, and to his son, the said Adam 
Ferguson, my set of gold waistcoat buttons, with any other 
little trinkett he may chuse. And I request my nephew 
Adam Stewart of Blackhill to accept of one of my fowling- 
pieces and an African gold head of a cane which will be found 
in my desk. And I appoint my small Galloway horse [one 
can picture the old man leading the animal himself daily to 
water] with my old saddle to be given to my friend and 
acquaintance William Wright, merchant in Perth. And 
further, I bequeath to my brother Alexander Ferguson and 
my sister Janet Ferguson above named the whole of my 
household furniture, bed and table linen, and my whole 
wearing apparel, excepting a tent bed and mattrass, which I 
order to be given to the youngest daughter of my nephew 
Adam Stewart of Blackball, and two pieces and a half of un- 
made linen, which I appoint to be given to the daughters of 
my brother Professor Ferguson ... in witness whereof these 
presents are written and upon stamped paper by Alexander 
Burnett, writer in Perth, and subscribed by me at Perth, the 
14th Jany 1797 years, before these witnesses, Kobert Stewart, 
merchant in Perth, and the said Alexander Burnet. 

' (Signed) Robert Fergusson.' 

Adam^ writes to the old man's son on the 25th April 
1800 as follows :— 

' Though I had not the satisfaction of performing the last 
melancholy duty of closing the eyes of your good father, I 
was with him for some time about a week immediately 
preceding his death. He often mentioned your name with 
much tenderness and affection, and said his chief regret at 

1 Afterwards Sir Adam. 


quitting this life was that he had not had the satisfaction of 
seeing his " boy " before departure. During the three last 
weeks of his life he suffered much bodily pain, which he bore 
with the utmost patience and resignation. It is almost 
unnecessary for me to inform you that he died universally 
regretted and in the highest estimation with his fellow-citizens 
of Perth. — I am, my dear sir, yours very affectionately, 

' Adam Ferguson.' 

So lived and so died Robert Ferguson ; and if to bear with 
equal mind great prosperity and the buffets of adversity, to 
endure bodily suffering with manly resolution, to think little 
of self and much of others ; to manifest gratitude to benefac- 
tors,^ and a truly splendid generosity on most hmited means ; 
to endeavour so to live as to be a burden to none, to owe no 
man a shilling, to set his child and his fellow-men the example 
of an honest, righteous man, taking the days as they came, 
and making the best of the fate which God was pleased to 
appoint to him — if such things as these are the test of true 
greatness of soul and of real worth in man, then in this stern, 
silent, simple-living, loving-hearted philosopher we have one 
more of the many many proofs of the truth of Henry 
Taylor's famous line — 

' The world knows nothing of its greatest men.' 

It is interesting to learn from his grandson's Mss. that when 
the latter visited Perth in 1820, twenty- three years after 
Robert had laid down the burden of the flesh, the house this 
fine old man had inhabited was still pointed out as that of 
' Captain Ferguson.' 

Died 1830. Son of Mr. Robert Ferguson (1719-97) 

Robert Ferguson, M.D., Bob's son, gives the following 
graphic account of his male parent : — 

' In his person my father was not tall, but exceedingly 
handsome.^ In his mind acute, thoughtful and cautious, 

' He journeyed all the way to London to thank Sir J. Macpherson for his 
kindness to Bob his son. 

- This is amply borne out by a beautiful lialf-length portrait of him now in 
my possession, taken when he might have been sixty years old or more, and 
by an equally beautiful miniature in tlie possession of my sister Marion. A 


the stern affection of my grandfather appeared to me to have 
made him reserved, grave and very shy. He said little, but 
had the power of putting as much pith and satire into that 
as I ever knew. I never dreaded anything so much as his 
merciless comments on anything I did. I have laughed and 
cried more from his biting ridicule than from all the buffetings 
and jokes of all the rest of the world. He was a capital 
adviser, and treated me as a man when I was a child, gave 


me his ^97"os and cons without reserve, and generally told me 
in a few words that if I did so and so I should go to the 
Devil — and he left me the full choice of doing so. He never 
influenced me directly in anything. I was to choose my 
path — a great error, for a parent should have given his son 
the benefit of his own worldly experience.' I do not know 

very small but plea^sant little picture of him is in the possession of the 
Misses Labalmoudiere, the sisters of my father's first wife, Cecilia — now of 
61 Montague Square, Hyde Park. — R. N. F. 



the year of Bob's birth. His own account of his early life is 
given in an undated letter to Lord Cornwallis, then Governor- 
General of India, written from America some time subsequent 
to 1801. ' My father settled in this country (America), and I 
was born and educated in it. It was the scene of my early 
public sei'vice, having been employed in various stations with 
the British Army from the capture of Rhode Island until the 
close of the American War (1782). When Count D'Estang 
entered that harbour with thirteen sail of the line, and the 
Americans effected a landing, though at that time very 
young, as Clerk of Issues in the Commissary Department, I 
had charge of the provisions of the whole garrison. At the 
evacuation of that island I was induced to accept an appoint- 
ment in the Civil Branch of the Royal Artillery. I remained 
at NcAV York only a few months, when I embarked with the 
reinforcement Avhich was ordered against Calcutta. I was 
present at the siege, took my tour of duty in the lines to see 
that the batteries were supplied with ammunition and the 
guns with their necessary side-arms, and at the capitulation 
of the garrison, on the 12th May 1780, and as a civil officer 
attached to the Royal Artillery, and appointed for the purpose 
of taking an account of the Ordnance and Military stores, I had 
the honour to march in the rear of the detachment of British 
Grenadiers that took possession of the Horn work. The Peace 
(1782) put a stop to my half civil and military career, and 
ultimately through the friendship of the late Commodore 
George Johnstone, I went from England to Bengal' (in 1785). 
We have already seen how Bob's father was ruined by the 
American War, and how he returned to England a com- 
parative beggar. What Bob was doing between the Peace 
and 1785 we have no means of knowing. On the 16th April 
in that year Professor Ferguson, his uncle, writes as follows 
to Sir John Macpherson ^ on his behalf : — 

'Edin., Wh April 1785. 

* My dear Sir, — Since your last to me I have ventured to 
give some introductory letters to oblige my friends here, and 
I am sensible that I ought to spare you a trouble which your 

^ At that time Governor-General of India (February 1785), though the 
Professor, of course, was not aware of this, and addresses him as a member 
of the Supreme Council of Bengal. 


situation Avill draw upon you most abundantly ; but the 
bearer of this has too strong a claim upon me to be resisted. 
He is the son of my brother, one of the honestest men that 
ever lived. He was born in America, and I have never seen 
him, but am certain he will not disgrace your protection. 
His father and he are refugees from that lost continent, and 
partake in the distress which a rooted affection to this country 
has brought upon many. The son, by the unalterable kind- 
ness of G. Johnston,^ and his insuppressable favour in behalf 
of honest men, has obtained leave to go to India, though 
without any destination or appointment. I have reason to 
believe that he inherits part of his father's sense and worthy- 
ness, and is qualifyed for business, and hope you will find 
protection and good offices for him without interfering with 
pupils of more expectation. His name is Robert Ferguson, 
and so I present him to you. 

' We are here nearly in the same state as when you heard 
of us last. The children all well ; your namesake John ' 
[afterwards the Admiral, but at this time only nine months 
old] ' particularly thriving, though he is not yet apprised of 
his relation to you. The mother and I frail and useless, with 
little object but that of keeping ourselves alive till the others 
can do for themselves. In all this I hope you will not 
perceive any touches of melancholy, for my spirits play very 
easily upon a Gentoo diet without being tied down to the 
formalities of any caste or exposed to the caprice or rapacity 
of any master, whether Christian or Moor. ... I am, my 
dear sir, your most affectionate and humble servant, 

'Adam Ferguson.' 

The following letter was sent on Bob's behalf to Lord 
Macartney, Governor of Madras, by Captain Ferguson, Deputy- 
Governor of Greenwich Hospital : — 

' Uh July 1785. 

' My Lord, — Though not entitled to ask favours of your 
Lordship, as the honour of your acquaintance was but short 
at Granada ' [of which Lord Macartney had been Governor], 

^ See 'Adam Ferguson,' p. 145, note, where Johnstone's letter of introduc- 
tion for Bob is quoted from. 


' when I commanded His Majesty's ship Veniis, yet from the 
attachment I have to the bearer, Mr. Robert Ferguson, 
I cannot help soliciting your countenance to him, as his 
Father is a most worthy man (and brother of Mr. Adam Fer- 
guson, author of the Essay on Civil Society), who by the 
unfortunate war with America is from great affluence reduced 
to the small pittance Government are pleased to give him, so 
that the son is obliged to go look for bread in a foreign land. 
He has been bred to figures, and gave great satisfaction to 
the Ordnance Board in his accounts, being employed in that 
branch in America, and from the knowledge I have of him 
he is all I could wish. Any little favour you may confer on 
him shall be most gratefully acknowledged by him who has 
the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most obedient 
and most humble servant, J as. Fergusson.' 

Sir J. Macpherson's kindness procured Bob a place almost 
immediately. He was made ' Superintendent of the French 
Salt ' at Ishera — that is, he had the control and storage of 
the salt landed by French traders at that place ; and it was 
by his advice that the system of permits was introduced, by 
which an excess of French coast salt was thereafter avoided. 
He was at one time in a position of extreme difficulty owing 
to the decision of the then Governor-General, Lord Cornwallis, 
that the salt was to be stored in the vicinity of Calcutta, where 
no proper provision for its reception had been made ; but by 
energetic action he succeeded in surmounting all obstacles 
and carrying out the order of the Governor. 

It was during this time that poor young Joseph Ferguson, 
his cousin, landed in India, and received great kindness and 
attention from Bob till the lad's health broke down and he 
returned to Edinburgh in 1792-3. 

In 1793 Bob's tenure of office appears to have expired, 
though for Avhat reason I do not know ; and he was only in 
temporary employment in connection Avith the salt-work. He 
laid his case before Lord Cornwallis, who said that ' the least 
he could do ' was to aid him to a place. Such a place was 
soon forthcoming. The Board of Trade of India took over 
the Salt Department in 1793, and on the 11th April in that 


year he was appointed ' Keeper of the Company's Salt Golas 
(or houses) at Sulkie/ at a salary of 300 rupees a month and 
100 rupees a month for house rent. This appointment he 
held till his resignation of his office and departure from India 
for America in 1801. 

But while holding the merely temporary employment he 
ventured on an exceedingly risky experiment. He made 
representations to Lord Cornwallis of the importance of 
having one place for landing all the coast salt, and in antici- 
pation of the decision he procured at his own risk all the 
material for building golas and a house for the superin- 
tendent. The place was approved, but for some reason which 
is not apparent from the correspondence, the East India 
Company flatly refused to compensate him for his outlay ; 
thus providing him with a grievance which lasted him all the 
rest of his life. ' These golas,' writes his son, ' were the only 
subject on which he prosed and bored me to death.' 

Bob's place at Sulkie seems not to have been a bed of 
roses. He writes to Lord Cornwallis : ' The difficulties I had 
to contend with were by no means small. I had scarcely 
taken charge of my office before numerous complaints were 
preferred by the agent for the contractor against the servants 
of that station ; the hired golas were burnt down and the 
Company's property lay exposed to pilferage and the weather. 
This I had to secure. I had other golas to build for the 
reception of the salt that was daily arriving . . . and from 
exertion under exposure to the sun I lost my health. . . . 
Mr. Cotton can inform your Lordship that Sunday, which is 
a day of rest to most men employed in the public service in 
India, was to me a day of labour, and that the salt received 
on those days frequently amounted to 10,000 maunds. That 
gentleman can also inform your Lordship that the office 
which I held under the Board of Trade was frequently vexa- 
tious and harassing on account of the vanity of the tempers of 
those with whom I had to transact the public business, and I 
hope that he may be also able to add ' (he says quaintly) ' that 
on such occasions I have generally preserved mine.' 

In 1799 occurred the sad death of young Joseph, which 
had so deep an effect on Bob that he was utterly broken 


down, and found it necessary to throw up his place. How- 
ever, after a while he resumed it, though he had to use much 
interest to get it back. 

In the same year his son Robert (M.D.) was born, and in 
the following year, 1800, his daughter Catherine, afterwards 
married to James Cary, D.D., son of the translator of Dante, 
whose body lies in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. In 
1801 he set off for America, probably to see whether anything 
could be made of the wreck of his father's property there. 

After this the actual records of him are scanty. He had 
saved money in India, as so eagerly desired by his father, 
and eventually he appears to have realised a large fortune. 
He came home to England and settled there, living at Bath 
and Bristol, in constant correspondence with his Ferguson 
relatives, who loved him heartily, and in 1816 we find him 
one of the trustees of Professor Adam Ferguson's will, and 
giving an account of the Professor's death to Sir John Mac- 
pherson. He lived on to 1830 ; but, as with his father before 
him, misfortune fell heavily upon him, and his money was 
almost wholly lost, mainly, it is believed, through investments 
made in Spanish Bonds. The great crash occurred in 1823. 
In the later years of his life he chose to be as much as possible 
alone; occupied a lodging at 22 Judd Place, New Road, and then 
at 15 Southampton Place, New Road, London, where he dwelt 
reclusely, and died suddenly in the month of October 1830, 
two days after his son's marriage to Cecilia Labalmondiere. 

He was buried in the churchyard of St. George's, Blooms- 
bury, but in 1881 the churchyard was closed and the grave- 
stones transported to the open space in Henrietta Street, near 
Brunswick Square, now a recreation ground. Of his stone 
no trace now exists. 

Second son of the Professor, died 1799. 

The sad story of this young man's life and early death comes 
now to be told. 

The Professor's original intention had been that Joseph 
should be bred an advocate, but it was not so to be. The lad 



had set his heart on the army, and in 1791 arrangements 
were made for him that he should go out to India as a cadet 
of Artillery. His uncle, old Mr. Ferguson of Perth (1719- 
1797), the Professor's elder brother, describes him at this 
time as ' a modest and promising youth,' and his cousin 
Adam states that his ' qualities were of the most amiable 
kind, joined to much personal spirit and gallantry.' 

The boy accordingly left his home, which was at this time 


' The Sciennes,' near the Grange, in the suburbs of Edin- 
burgh, and started for India, the intention of his friends being 
that he should, on his arrival, be looked after and cared for 
by the Professor's brother-in-law. Captain Burnett. Old Mr. 
Ferguson wrote on his nephew's behalf to his son ' Bob ' at 
Calcutta. ' I need not repeat to you,' says the fine old fellow, 
' the many obligations that both you and I lie under to his 
father, and therefore I expect you will receive him as a 


brother and supply him with such necessaries or money as 
he may Avant until such time as he is provided for. His 
father will re-imburse you if necessary. I know that I need 
not press you on this head, and that you will be happy in this 
young man's acquaintance.' [The cousins had not yet met] 
Professor Ferguson wrote at the same time to his nephew 
Bob as follows : — 

' London, li)th March 1792. 

' My dear Sir, — The bearer, Joseph Ferguson, my son, 
carrys a letter from his Father to you which might be suffi- 
cient for every purpose, but I cannot let him depart without 
some expression of my affection for you and full confidence 
that as far as you have opportunity you will be as a brother 
to him. His uncle. Captain Burnett, will, I hope, be in 
Bengali (sic) to receive him at his arrival and be his parent 
there ; but in his absence I shall rely on you and gratefully 
repay any supply that may be necessary to him. He has 
many letters : one in particular to Colonel Koss,^ in which I 
remind him of my thanks for good offices to you, of which I 
shall be glad to know the continuance. It Avill be obliging to 
drop me a letter with the return of ships from India with 
accounts of yourself and this young person on his joining the 
corps to which he is appointed. — I am, my dear sir, your 
most affectionate and most humble servant, 

' Adam Ferguson.' 

It might have w^ell been hoped that this ' fine gallant 
young man,' as (Sir) Adam calls him, was now fairly started 
on an honourable career, and that with such friends and such 
influence behind him he might rise high in the Indian army ; 
but it appears that his health broke down in the East, and in 
a letter dated Perth, 13th October 1793, we find old Robert 
Ferguson writing as follows to Bob in India : — 

* Joseph, your cousin, is arrived at Edinburgh some weeks 
ago. I had a letter from him thanking me for your kindness 
to him, and acquainting me that his return was for want of 
health. He must have been sent out at a very considerable 
expense both of interest and money, and I suppose that his 

^ Secretary to Lord Cornwallis, who was Governor-General of India, 


Ensigncy might have been obtained at home at less than a 
quarter of the expense. His father (the Professor) has gone 
for (sic) Italy to spend the winter, and I believe that he met 
Joseph in London. I know not how he relished his retnrne.' 

In spite of this unhappy failure, young Joseph's heart was 
still with the army, and on the 4th October 1794 old Mr. 
Ferguson writes from Perth to ' Bob ' that the lad is now a 
' Lieutenant of Grenadiers in a new raised marching regi- 
ment ; I know not whether in Britain or the continent at 
present.' In 1796 Joseph had become ' a full captain ' in the 
78th Regiment (Seaforth Highlanders). 

The following is an extract from the Professor's letter to 
' Bob ' about his boy Joseph's return to the East : — 

'Hall YARDS, near Peebles, N.B., 1st March 1797. 
' . . . Before this will have come to hand you will, I trust, 
have heard of the arrival of your friend, my son Joseph, again 
in India. He goes at the head of a Company. May his health 
continue better than it was when he left you (1793). The lot 
of a military man is to go where he is ordered or to quit the 
service. My blessing to him and you. There will be a letter 
for him from this family by the same conveyance with this. — 
I am, my dear sir, most affectionately yours, 

' Adam Ferguson.' 

In the course of the summer of 1795 the Professor had 
lent Joseph a sum of £1000 at 5 per cent. Robert, the 
cousin in India (Bob), must have told the Professor that 
Joseph was fretting and worrying about the repayment of 
this money, and that the lad was anxious to secure his own 
life for repaying it. Like the loving-hearted old father he 
was, the Professor writes to Bob as foUows : — 

'Hallyards, 2nd Sept. 1798. 

' . . . I cannot enough express my obligation to you on his 
(Joseph's) account, and your readiness to assist him in getting 
forward in his line of preferment. It gave me some pain to hear 
of his anxiety to secure his debt to me by ensuring his life. The 
proposal when first mentioned to me I rejected, and signified 
so much to his correspondent at London ; but it seems too 
late to prevent the Ensurance for one year being payed. I have 


since authorised my son Adam to forbid it altogether, and 
hope it will not be repeated. If there is to be an insurer, let 
me be the person. If there were to be a loss, that of the 
money would be the least. And I mention the subject to 
you, trusting you wiU be so good as to reUeve his mind of all 
anxiety on this account. ... I am commissioned by more 
than one person in this family to thank you for your letters, 
for if Joseph have reason to complain of our silence, we have 
you and Mr. A. Johnston of Calcutta to thank for the only 
account we have had of him for above 18 months. — I am, 
my dear sir, yours most affectionately, 

'- Adam Ferguson.' 

In 1799 it is evident that the lad's health had broken down 
again. In November of that year he died. He drew up a 
will on the 18th of that month, which runs as follows : — 

' I beg to leave behind me these few memoranda for the 
arrangement of my little affairs. My resignation of my 
Company in order to procure its sale is in the hands of the 
best of human beings. Colonel Alexander Mackenzie. His 
honour and truly godlike beneficence of character, I think, 
ensures to me that he will, when I am no more, make the 
best of it, and do his utmost in procuring what he can for the 
benefit of my beloved brothers and sisters, amongst whom I 
desire that the amount of it, together with any other sums 
that may accrue to my estate (after the payment of my just 
debts) may be equally divided. I love no one of them better 
than another. They will receive it only as the testimony of 
my affection for them. I wish it had been more. I am a 
Bond debtor to my father for £1000, bearing interest from 
the 15th July 1795 at 5%. The cash of mine which is now 
in the hands of my much beloved cousin, Robert Ferguson, 
will nearly amount to that sum. It is partly lodged in 10 
and partly in 8°/^. I trust to him to pay it to my father, and 
thereby cancell the Bond. Its double interest of 10 and 
8°/^ will probably make up that which is due for the years 
past. . . .' 

The poor lad then gives some details of small debts in 
rupees, and proceeds : — 


' . . . Amongst my papers will be found lists of my effects 
and cloaks. Of those sold at Cawnpore the list is with D* 
Roderick Mackenzie. Excepting one week's pay to three 
boys of the Band of my Company, I owe nothing to my 
Company to the best of my knowledge. I owe to my Pay- 
Sergeant upwards of 400 rupees, for which I gave him an 
order for the same amount, of a balance due to me by Major 
Adams of which there stands a mem"^- in his books. 

' Joseph Ferguson.' 

Robert's cousin, (Sir) Adam, writes to him about the 
dead man on the 25th April 1800, from 84 Chapel Street, 
Edinburgh : — 

' Edinburgh, 84 Chapel Street, 
25«/i Ajyril 1800. 

' My dear Sir, — You will no doubt be surprised at being 
thus familiarly addressed by a person in a great measure 
a stranger to you, but though from the difference of our local 
situations we have not as yet had an opportunity of forming 
a personal acquaintance, yet to your goodness I am no 

'Your kindness and attention at all times to my poor 
deceased brother Joseph, claims the warmest gratitude of 
his family, and we hope ere long to have it in our power to 
make our acknowledgements to you in person. You may 
easily guess the dreadful shock our family sustained on being 
informed of the loss of such a fine gallant young man. You 
well know with us that his qualities were of the most amiable 
kind, joined to much personal spirit and gallantry. Had it 
pleased the Almighty to have spared him he would have done 
credit to his profession, and been an ornament to his family. 
I hope you will pardon this effusion from one who was the 
early companion of his youth, and flattered himself with the 
hope of having the comfort of his brotherly advice and assist- 
ance through life. My father (the Professor) and sisters, 
though still much indisposed, are, I am happy to say, in some 
degree relieved from their first load of affliction. 

'You must by this tune have come intimate with my 


brother James' [See No. 3, Colonel James Ferguson]. *If 
it may not appear saying too much, he is certainly a most 
exact resemblance in every particular to the poor fellow who 
is no more. He is a tender-hearted lad, and his brother's 
death must have hurt him much. I am glad, however, to 
hear that he has behaved with manly fortitude upon this 
trying occasion. ... I remain, my dear sir, very affectionately 
yours, Adam Ferguson.' 

Robert Ferguson examined into poor young Captain 
Joseph's affairs, and a memorandum of account, dated 21st 
December 1799, on the back of the copy of the will, shows 
that all the debts were fully paid off out of the estate, 
and more than £1100 sent home, independent of such 
money as might be received for the sale of the commission. 
Colonel Mackenzie applied to the Duke of York for leave 
to sell the commission, which His Royal Highness granted. 

Such was the short life of Joseph Ferguson, of whom Robert 
Ferguson, M.D. writes : ' If he resembled his picture, he must 
have been a very handsome man.' 

Tlte ' Huntly Burn' Family. 

1. Sir Adam Ferguson. 

2. Admiral John Macpherson Ferguson. 

3. Colonel James Ferguson. 

4. Dr. Robert Ferguson's account of the Huntlyburn 

Family, including the three sisters. 

5. Dr. Robert Ferguson's account of Lockhart's menage 

at Chiefswood. 

{An Introductory Note to my father' s account of him.) 

Sir Walter Scott in his Autobiography, writing of the year 
1788, when he was seventeen, says : ' The persons with whom 
1 chiefly lived at this period of my youth were {inter alios) 
Adam Fergusson, son of the celebrated Professor Fergusson, 
who combined the lightest and most airy temper with the 
best and kindest disposition.' In the journals (Oct. 1827), 


he calls Adam, then fifty-six, ' the merry knight,' and (March 
1829) ' the gayest man I ever knew.' ^ 

' Adam, the eldest son of the Professor, was born on the 
21st Dec. 1770, and after his experiences as an Edinburgh 
collegian, was put into training for the law. Legal studies, 
however, appear not to have jumped much with his humour, 


^ In the Life, chap, xii., Lockhart quotes Scott's description of the Captain 
(Adam) to Lord Montagu : — 

' The Captain is a very singular fellow, for, with all his humour and know- 
ledge of the world, he is by nature a remarkably shy and modest man, and 
more afraid of the possibility of intrusion than would occur to any one who 
only sees him in the full stream of society.' 

Writing to Southey on 23rd March 1818, Scott says :^-' I have also with 
me an old and faithful crony from the day we carried our satchels to school 
together. Captain Adam Ferguson, the son of the historian. With the un- 
ceasing good spirits which find subject for exercise in the most trifling 
passages of human life, of which he is the most acute observer I have ever 
seen, he has borne and parried a world of misfortunes, which mustf.have 
crushed any one possessed of less elasticity of spirit.' — Familiar Letters, 1894. 


and about 1800, at the age of 29, he joined the 58th Regiment, 
in Avhich, savs Lockhart, ' after various chances and changes ' 
he became a Captain. His military tastes and patriotism 
had ah-eady been shoAvn by his joining the Edinburgh 

Previous to this, in 1793, Adam accompanied young Walter, 
then aged 22, on a tour through Perthshire and the Highland 
border scenes, which Scott afterwards described in his poems 
and romances. The longest stay made was at Meigle in 
Forfarshire, and (says Lockhart) ' I have often heard them 
dwell on the thousand scenes of adventure and merri- 
ment which diversified that visit.' 

In 1797, after the rising of the Court of Session, Scott set 
out on a tour of the English lakes, accompanied by his 
brother John (who died in 1816) and Adam Ferguson. 
Their first stage was Hallyards in Tweeddale, to which the 
old Professor, then 74, had retired, and there Scott had his 
first and only interview with David Ritchie, the original of 
' the Black Dwarf.' It was on this tour that Scott saw and 
fell in love Avith Charlotte Margaret Carpenter, whom he 
married during the following Christmas recess. 

Adam Avas now a full soldier (1800). In 1808 he appears 
to have joined the 101st Regiment, and writing to Scott from 
Lisbon on the 31st Aug. 1811, he says : * I was so fortunate 
as to get a reading of The Lady of the Lake, when in the 
lines of Torres Vedras, and thought I had no inconsiderable 
right to enter into and judge of its beauties, having made 
one of the party on your first visit to the Trosachs. While the 
book was in my possession I had nightly invitations to evening 
parties, and, I nuist say, that though not conscious of much 
merit in the way of recitation, my attempts to do justice to 
the grand opening of the stag hunt were always followed by 
bursts of applause, for this canto was the favourite among 
the rough sons of the fighting 3rd Division. At that time 
supplies were scanty, and in gratitude I am bound to declare 
that to the good offices of " the Lady," I owed many a nice 
slice of ham and rummer of hot punch.' Lockhart adds, ' The 
gallant and gastronomical Captain (who did not, by the way, 
escape suspicions of having been a little glanced at in Dalgetty) 


was no less heartily regaled on the arrival of The Vision, a 
present from the author, Scott.' He again writes : ' What 
particularly delighted me were the stanzas announcing the 
approach of the British fleets and armies, and I can assure 
you that the Pats are to a man enchanted with the picture 
drawn of their countrymen and the mention of the great man 
himself Your swearing in the true character of a minstrel, 
" shiver my harp and burst its every chord," amused me not 
a little. Should it be my fate to survive, I am resolved to 
try my hand on a snug little farm either up or down the 
Tweed, somewhere in your neighbourhood, and on this dream 
many a delightful castle do I build.' Lockhart adds : — 'I must 
not omit a circumstance which Scott learned from another 
source, and which he always took great pride in relating. In 
the course of the day when The Lady of the Lake first reached 
Fergusson, he was posted with his Company on a point of 
ground exposed to the enemy's artillery. The men were 
ordered to lie prostrate on the ground. While they kept that 
attitude, the Captain kneeling at their head, read aloud the 
battle of Canto vi., and the listening soldiers only interrupted 
him by a joyous huzza whenever the shot struck the bank 
close above them.' 

Adam was taken prisoner during Wellington's retreat 
from Burgos in 1812, and was not released till the peace 
of 1814. 

The following letter, written to my mother in 1849, gives 
an amusing experience of this period : — 

' 27 George Square, Edinr. 
Uh May 1849. 

'My dear Mrs. Ferguson, — Your last agreeable note 
followed me here from Huntly Burn this day. It was 
certainly a sad forget in my last not to acknowledge the 
receipt of the King's Plain Snuff, which arrived some time 
ago in ample quantity and of first rate quality ; from which 
latter property it seems likely to share the fate of 600 francs 
which a kind relative of ours sent up to me from Bordeaux 
to the Auvergne, where, in 1814, I was with many others of 
my countrymen (prisoners of war) and in a starving condition. 


The carrier who brought the money sent the Town Crier 
with his bell through the town, so the whole depot was made 
aware of my good fortune, and away went my 000 francs in 
loaiis, something like those, the definition of which is given 
by Dr. Samuel Johnson, " Lend me a sixpence not to be 
repaid" So my Snuff, from its excellence, is borrowed at 
all hands by stai-ving noses ! You say nothing in your last 
about my country house. I think if you saw it you could 
not resist becoming its tenant. There is one tree which 
must be as old as our good King Jamie vi., under the im- 
penetrable shade of which I have often read the live long 
day, and (like the Cockney under his mulberry tree on the 
Bagnigge Wells Road) " no one was the wiser for it ! " My 
Cara Sposa begs to join in kind love to Robert and yourself, 
and sends kisses apiece to the two darlings [Mary Roma, 
born 1847, and the writer of this — bom 1848]. — Yours very 
affect^>-, ' Adam Ferguson.' 

In February 1816 Adam's father, the Professor, died at St. 
Andrews, aged 92, and under the sketch of his life (page 148) 
will be found Adam's letter to his cousin, Bob Ferguson, then 
at Bristol, in Avhich, inter alia, he relates the fact that nothing 
but a reversion has been left either to himself or his brothers, 
but speaks in the most loving way of his three sisters, who 
have ' so justly ' got the liferent of such money as there was. 
He speaks somewhat gloomily of his own condition, and 
dwells on the necessity of his having shortly to go on half 
pay. This he did in the following October (1816). 

In 1817 he accompanied Scott in an excursion to the 
Lennox, and in the following year he and his sisters took up 
their residence at the mansion house of Toftfields, which 
Scott had recently purchased, and on which Scott, at the 
ladies' request, bestowed the name of Huntly Burn. In the 
autumn of this year Adam, chiefly through the exertions of 
Scott, was made ' Depute-Keeper of the Regalia of Scotland,* 
then recently discovered, and about this time Sir David 
Wilkie executed for Scott the picture in which Scott and his 
family are represented as a group of peasants and Ferguson 
as a gamekeeper or poacher. 



In 1819, at the age of 48, he accompanied Scott's friend, the 
Duke of Buccleuch, then in declining health, to Lisbon, and in 
April 1821, aged 50, he married the widow of George Lyon, 
daughter of John Stewart of Stenton. Scott gives a comical 
account of the marriage ceremony. The happy couple settled 
at Gattonside House, in the same parish as Huntly Burn. 

On the occasion of the visit of George iv. to Edinburgh, 
Adam received the honour of Knighthood, on 29th August 
1822. Mr. Skene, in his reminiscences, says of Tom Purdie, 
the ex-shepherd and general factotum to Scott, that ' when 
Sir Walter obtained the honour of Knighthood for Sir Adam 


upon the plea of his being Custodier of the Regalia of Scot- 
land, Tom was very indignant, because, he said, " it will take 
some of the shine out of us^' meaning Sir Walter.' 

In Lockhart's Life, and Scott's own journals, we get many 
charming peeps at jovial Adam, capping all the merri- 
ment at Abbotsford by singing ' The Laird of Cockpen ' ; 
spending with Scott and Wilson and Lockhart a joyous 
evening at Torwoodlee, and making the kind old host's sides 
sore with laughter ; acting as croupier at the Abbotsford 
Hunt annual dinner ; helping in the yearly ' St. Ronan's 



Border Games ' ; ' predominating ' at the festa at Will Clerk's, 
' dancing Avhat he calls his merry andrada in great style ' ; 
spending the evening with Scott, and being ' in all his glory/ 
so that ' the nicht drave on wi' sangs and clatter ' ; ' in high 
fooling, so that Ave had an amazing deal of laughing ' ; taking 
a long walk with Sir Walter when the latter was * haunted 
Avith gloomy thoughts ' — ' it was a charity ' (Avrites Scott), ' and 
his gaiety rubbed one up a little ' ; — dining Avith Scott and 
laughing and talking his sense of gloom and oppression away. 
NeA^er surely Avere tAvo dearer friends, nor tAvo men better 
suited to enjoy one another's brilliancy and Avit and humour 
and intellectual poAvers. 

Adam long outlived his friend, Avho, as all the Avorld knows, 
died on the 21st September 1832.i 

Adam himself Avas called aAvay on Christmas day 1854, 
aged 84, and Avas folloAved three years later by his Avife. 

Husband and Avife lie in a vault in the churchyard of the 
Old Greyfriars, Edinburgh, Avith the following inscription 
over them : — 


Captain Sir ADAM FERGUSON, Knight 

depute keeper of the regalia of scotland 

eldest son of 

Dr. Adam Ferguson 

professor of moral philosophy 

in the university of edinburgh 

born 21st december 1770 

DIED 25th DECEMBER 1854 



daughter of 
John Stuart of Stenton 

BORN 15th MAY 1770 
DIED 4th DECEMBER 1857. 

I will conclude this notice of Sir Adam with the following 
invitation in verse from Sir Walter to the Merry Knight, 
most kindly supplied to me by Mr. George Bayley of 7 

1 For some most interesting letters of the two friends to each other, and for 
various allusions to Sir Adam, see Familiar Letters of Sir Walter Scott, 1894. 


Eandolph Crescent, Edinburgli, Lady Ferguson's grand- 

The manuscript of it, which is autograph of Sir Walter 
Scott, and now in Mr. Bayley's possession, contains an invita- 
tion to Adam Ferguson, then residmg at Gattonside House, 
on the other side of the Tweed, to dine at Abbotsford. There 
is no date on the MS., but in Lockhart's Life of Scott it 
is mentioned that the estate of Gattonside was sold about 
1824, and in a letter of Sir Walter's, dated 14th April 1824, 
to Lord Montague, he says : ' We are threatened with a cruel 
deprivation in the loss of our friend Sir Adam, the best of 
men. A dog of a Banker has bought his house for an invest- 
ment of capital, and I fear he must trudge. Had I still had 
the Highland Piper in my service, who would not have 
refused me such a favour, I would have had him dirked to a 
certainty — I mean this cursed Banker. As it is I must think 
of some means of poisoning his hot rolls and butter, or setting 
his house on lire, by way of revenge.' 



Come ower the Tweed, Adam, 
Dear Adam, Sir Adam, 
Come ower the Tweed, Adam, 

And dine with us all. 
We '11 welcome you truly. 
And stuff you most duly. 
With broth, greens, and bouUie 

In Abbotsford Hall, 

Come ower the Tweed, Adam. 
Ba capo. 

Bring here your dear lady. 
For friendship so steady. 
The welcomest tread aye 
That visits our Hall. 


Bring your guests too and spare not, 
For numbers we care not, 
In especial Miss Arnot ^ 
So comely and tall, 

Come ower the Tweed, etc. 

With wine we '11 regale ye. 
We '11 draw punch and ale ye, 
And song, verse, and tale ye 

Shall have at your call. 
'Twill be worth a gold guinea 
To hear Mrs. Jeannie ^ 
Lilting blith as a queanie 
In Abbotsford Hall. 

Then come ower the Tweed, Adam, 
Dear Adam, Sir Adam, 
Come ower the Tweed, Adam, 
And gladden us all. 

A memoraTidum p'eliminary to my Father^ s account of Mm. 

John Macpherson Ferguson, the youngest of the great 
Professor's four sons, was born in Edinburgh on the 15th 
August 1784, and on the 16th April 1785 we find the Pro- 
fessor writing as follows to Sir John Macpherson, godfather 
to the boy, who had in the previous February succeeded 
Warren Hastings as Governor-General of India : — ' We are 
here nearly in the same state as when you heard of us last. 
The children are all well ; your namesake, John, particularly 
thriving, though he is not yet apprised of his relation to you. 
The mother and I frail and useless, with little object but 
that of keeping ourselves alive till the others can do for 
themselves.' The Professor had passed his sixty-first year 
when John made his appearance in the world. He had 
pubUshed his Roman History in 1782, and in 1785 he resigned 

1 MisH Atixot. Daughter of David Walker Arnott of Arlary, and married 
(1) Edward Bayley, Lieutenant R.N. ; (2) David Amot, D.D., Minister of 
the High Church, Edinlnirgh. 

2 Mm. Jeannie. Miss Jane Jobson of Lochore, who married 3rd February 
1825 Sir Walter's eldest son. 



his Chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edin- 
burgh into the hands of his friend, Dugald Stewart. 

The childhood of young John was passed at Hallyards, 
near Peebles, where the Professor settled, but at the early 
age of twelve years and a few months the boy left home 
(December 1796), and entered the Royal Navy as a 'first 
class volunteer.' Mr. R D. Awdry, C.B., the Assistant- 
Secretary to the Admiralty, has kindly furnished me with 


the following information as to John's naval career, taken 
from O'Byrne's Naval Biography. It wiU be seen how 
splendidly Johnny, whom the Professor always called his 
' little seaman,' bore himself in the service of his country, 
although he suffered a very great misfortune in the loss of 
his ship in 1811. 

'This officer entered the Navy in Dec. 1796 as first class 
volunteer on board the Gcesar, so employed for 3 years at the 


blockade of Brest. He removed as midshipman, 1800, to La 
Loire y then he joined t\\Q Aurora, then the Victory, 100, bear- 
ing the flag of Lord Nelson ' (under whom, according to family 
tradition, he took part in the famous battle of Copenhagen, 
April 1801). 'On 13th January 1804 was confirmed to a 
Lieutenancy in the >Sfi6pe?^?;( Captain Keats), under whom, after 
pursuing the combined fleets of France and Spain from the 
Mediterranean to the West Indies, he assisted in Sir John 
Duckworth's action ofl'St. Domingo, 6th February 1806. Being 
appointed on 20th October 1806 to the Redwing (Captain 
Ussher), stationed in the Straits of Gibraltar, Mr. Ferguson, 
who continued in that vessel for a period of 20 months as her 
First Lieutenant, bore a conspicuous part in a multitude of very 
dashing exploits. On the 20th April 1807 he ably supported 
Captain Ussher in a spirited engagement with a division of 
Spanish gun boats and several batteries near Cabritta Point ; 
and on 7th September 1807 he commanded the boats and 
displayed much gallantry in an attempt made to destroy 
several vessels under a most galling fire from the town of 
Calassel. The day after the latter event he obtained the 
highest praise of his captain for his bravery in boarding a 
Polacre ship, whose yard-arms nearly touched the castle of 
Benidorme, and for his conduct throughout a stiff action 
which terminated in the destruction, near Jovosa, of 3 
privateers, mounting altogether 20 guns. On the 7th May 
1808 he further contributed by his unsurpassably cool and 
determined conduct to the utter defeat of 7 armed vessels, 
carrying in all 22 guns and 270 men, of whom 240 were 
killed, drowned, or taken prisoners {vide Gazette, 1808, p. 735); 
subsequently to this he again commanded the boats at the 
capture and destruction, on 1st June 1808, of a mistico and 
2 feluccas in the bay of Bolonia, where he also landed with 
Captain Ussher, stormed a battery, and blew up a magazine. 
Being rewarded for these services by promotion (13th July 
1808), Captain Ferguson, on 22nd October 1810, obtained com- 
mand of the Pandora sloop (18). On 31st December 1810 
he captured Le Chasseur, privateer, 16 guns and 36 men. 
On the 13th February 1811 he had the misfortune to lose 
his vessel on the Skarve reef off the coast of Jutland, and 


in consequence of this misadventure he became a prisoner 
for some time in the hands of the Danes. 

' His next appointment, 27th August 1815, at the age of 31, 
was to the Niimrod on the Leith station, where he continued 
until posted (1st January 1817). He afterwards commanded 
the Mersey (26) in South America from 1823 to 1827. He 
retired in October 1840.' 

In 1808 the Professor had retired to St. Andrews at the 
age of eighty-five, and it was there, three years after, that he 
received the news of the loss of his son's ship. The story is 
touchingly related by a lady who contributes it to the account 
of Adam Fergusson's life, given in the Edinburgh Review for 
January 1867, vol. cxxv. The old Professor ' had the entire 
newspaper read over to him every blessed day by a good- 
natured Divinity student, named Charlie C . When his 

son John's ship was wrecked — him that he calls his little 
seaman — and when coming on the notice unexpectedly good 
Charlie's voice faltered, old Adam simply said, " Go on, read 
that again.' " 

Lockhart calls Johnny 'a favourite lieutenant of Lord 
Nelson.' {Life of Scott, ch. x.) 

It will have been seen from the above account that 
John, then aged thirty-one, was on the Leith station from 
August 1815 to January 1817. In the interval his illus- 
trious father died, and was buried in the churchyard of 
St. Andrews. 

From 1817 to 1823 John was out of employment, and in 
1818 he became one of the famous Huntly Burn family so 
frequently spoken of in the Life and the Journals of Sir 
Walter. Lockhart gives an amusing account of him in that 
year helping Lady Scott in Sir Walter's absence to entertain 
two impertinent and intrusive bores of Americans. 

John, then aged forty-two, reappears at Abbotsford after 
the termination of his command (1823-27) of the Mersey, on 
the South American Station. Scott writes in the Journals 
(March 19th, 1827) : ' Set about my labours, but enter Captain 
John Ferguson from the Spanish Main, where he has been for 
three years. The honest tar sat about two hours, and I was 
heartily glad to see him again. I had a general sketch of 


his adventures which we will hear more in detail when we 
can meet at kail- time.' 

One of the honest tar's amusements at this period was to 
try to follow the hounds. His attempts in this direction 
clearly afforded great enjoyment to his friends, and it is 
evident that he took their chaff with much good humour. 

On February 25th, 1829, Scott writes: 'This morning I 
corrected my proofs ; we get on, as John Ferguson said when 
they put him on a hunter.* 

One last reference I may make from the Jovbrnals. — 
December 24th, 1830. ' This morning my old acquaintance 
and good friend, Miss Bell Ferguson, died after a short 
illness. ... A bitter cold day. Anne drove me over to 
Huntly Burn to see the family. I found Colonel Ferguson 
and Captain John, R.N., in deep aftiiction, expecting Sir 
Adam hourly.' 

On the 22nd March 1836, at the age of fifty-one, John 
married Elizabeth Lauder Guild, by whom he had one 
son, Adam (Addie), who was born on the following 27th 
December. Addie joined the Black Watch, but died on the 
14th September 1865. 

Addie was only nineteen when his father died on the 
8th June 1855, aged seventy. 

The mother lived on to the year 1894, having spent the 
whole of her widowed life of thirty-nine years at No. 
2 Eton Terrace, Edinburgh. 

May the writer of this memorandum be allowed to bear 
his loving testimony to the beauty of her character and the 
saintliness of her life. She was paralysed and speechless 
towards the end of it, but the writer will never forget her 
words, when on one occasion, before the stroke that laid her 
helpless, he visited her sick-bed. 'Aunty,' he said, 'isn't it 
dull and lonely for you here?' to which the reply was, 
' My dear, I 've just the one thing to think of, just the one 
thing! Her whole heart and thoughts were in Heaven. 

Father, mother, and son now sleep peacefully in the 
vault under the shadow of the Old Greyfriars Church in 
Edinburgh, side by side with Sir Adam, ' the Merry Knight/ 



I regret that I am unable to give the year of Jamie's birth, 
or any particulars of his youth and early training. The iirst 
notice I find of him is in (Sir) Adam's letter to his cousin 
Robert in India, dated 25th April 1800, on the death of their 
poor brother. Captain Joseph. ' You must by this time have 
become intimate with my brother James. If it may not 
appear saying too much, he is certainly a most exact resem- 
blance in every particular to the poor fellow who is no more. 
He is a tender-hearted lad, and his brother's death must have 
hurt him much.' 

Jamie joined the Honourable East India Company's service 
as a cadet in the army in 1798, and saw some active service, 
in which, as will be seen by my father's memorandum that 
follows this, he distinguished himself by cool valour. Of 
that service some details will be found in his letter of 
August 6th, 1821.1 

He is very frequently mentioned in Sir Walter Scott's 
Journals (1826-32), appearing first there on the 26th March 
1826. A sad Httle entry on the 7th May 1826 records that 
" Sir Adam and the Colonel dined here, so I spent the evening 
as pleasantly as I Avell could, considering I am so soon to leave 
my own house, and go like a stranger to the town of which 
I have been so long a citizen, and leave my wife lingering, 
without prospect of recovery, under the charge of two poor 
girls. Talia cogit dura necessitas.' 

On September 16th, 1827, occurs the following entry. ' The 
ladies went to Church; I, God forgive me, finished the 
Chronicles (of the Canongate) with a good deal of assistance 
from Colonel Ferguson's notes about Indian affairs. The 
patch is, I suspect, too glaring to be pleasing; but the 
Colonel's sketches are capitally good. . . . ' 

In the following October (27), Sir Walter writes: 'This 
morning went again to Huntly Burn to breakfast. There 
picked up Sir Adam and the Colonel, and drove down to old 
Melrose to see the hounds cast off upon the Gateheugh, the 
high rocky amphitheatre which encloses the peninsula of 

1 See p. 187. 


old Melrose ; the Tweed pouring its dark and powerful 
current between them. The galloping of the riders and 
hallooing of the huntsmen, the cry of the hounds and the 
sight of sly Renard stealing away through the brakes waked 
something of the old spirit within me. " Even in our ashes 
glow their wonted fires." ' 

April 23rd, 1829. ' The Colonel and Miss Ferguson dined 
with us. I think I drank rather a cheerful glass with my 
good friend.' 

The intimate and affectionate terms on which he stood 

with Sir Walter are evident from Scott's own records, and 

this may well have been so, for apart from Jamie's soldierly 

courage and his charm of manner, there were two things 

about him of which the tradition survives in the Ferguson 

family, namely, his unselfish amiability, and the insouciant 

and Spartan heroism with which he bore severe bodily pain 

and other ills of life. Listen to Lockhart as he refers to some 

hea\y money loss which the Colonel has had in 1834. He is 

writing to my father: — 

' RoKEBY, Greta Bridge, 

September 2mh, 1848. 

* ... At Edinburgh I saw Colonel James F, as gay as ever. 
He told me he was what folks call ruined, with the calmest 
smile and evidently unshaken. . . . ' 

Here is an extract from a letter of his to my mother in 
1848 :— 

' 6 DuNDAS Street, 

5th January 1848. 

' My dear Mrs. Ferguson, — I was quite delighted with 
your letter, and accounts of your welfare. ... I am myself 
still attached to my chair ami — crutches even not available 
without danger of a fall . . . like your baby (Mary Roma) 
carried up and down stairs, but with rather more dignity, I 
flatter myself; three being employed about it. The dear 
baby, " plump as a partridge " : I repeat it so often to myself 
that I begin to wish it were 5 o'clock, when I am to become 
acquainted with one sent by my old friend James Mackenzie. 
... I daresay Robert, when he comes home fagged in the 
evening, thinks more of his Cara Bella than the dinner-bell, 
but don't let him spoil her ; if he does, I am off — no engage- 


rnent. I am glad you are going into a larger house, where I 
shall have room to swing my crutches in a gallop with the 
young lady . . . ever yours affectionately, 

' J. Ferguson.' 

With this little notice of tender-hearted Jamie I will leave 
the description of him to my father, who knew him so well 

The following is my father's (Robert Ferguson, M.D.) account 
of Sir Adam, Colonel Ferguson, and Admiral Ferguson, and 
their three sisters. 


' When Walter Scott determined to settle on the border- 
land, the scene of all his studies which formed his mind, 
he persuaded his old schoolfellow and friend. Sir Adam 
Ferguson, to become his tenant of a small farm house 
refitted, just under the Eildon Hills, and amid the traditions 
of Thomas the Rhymer. 

' The tenants of Huntly Burn, as the estate is called, were 
three brothers, bachelors, and three maiden sisters, all in 
middle age, and all of very salient characteristics of mind or 
person. The three brothers had all embraced the military 
profession, had therefore seen much. They had been separated 
from each other almost from early youth, and when they at 
last met they were new to each other in every respect, save 
in a strong family attachment. Sir Adam had served in the 
Peninsula, and had there been made prisoner and sent to 
France. Colonel Ferguson had gained his honours and a 
moderate competency in India ; and Admiral Ferguson, who 
had served under Nelson, remained afloat almost without 
intermission during the Napoleonic wars. 

' Each of these men was 6 feet and upwards, bony, spare, 
and powerful. Each had his own peculiarity. The Admiral, 
who was really a handsome man, encouraged the bluntness 
of expression and the demeanour of the sailor of that day, 
but united with it a deep religious feeling. The Colonel 
Avas the most inveterately imperturbable being I ever knew. 
He was cheerful under every possible infliction or afliiction ; 
not from indifference, but apparently from constitution. He 


had been hit in battle, and kept whistling and lighting till 
he fainted. He was in later life tormented with rheumatism, 
but though his strong frame was twisted and cramped in all 
its movements, at last so as to confine him to his room, 
there he was as cheerful and as busy with his books, his 
pursuits and plans, as if the terrible spring winds of the East 
Neuk of Fife had never chilled a vein or twisted a sinew. 
He never attended to himself or his pains, but always 
welcomed the visitor as when he was no sufferer. This was 
his strength, and few went away from him without the lesson 
learnt of how to bear. Like most Highlanders, he resolutely 
shut the book if the page was unpleasant and slipt over to 
the next. 

'Sir Walter Scott, who got hints from every thing and 
person, obtained from him much that he valued and used 
in his description of Indian scenes ; just as he based the 
nautical part of the Pirate on information extracted from the 
Admiral. The Colonel, however, had the advantage over 
his younger brother, the Admiral, of being a most graphic 

' But the real friend and much loved companion of Scott 
was Sir Adam Ferguson, the eldest brother ; his schoolfellow 
and playmate. 

'Shrewd, joyous, a hon-vivant, an unrivalled observer, an 
unparalleled narrator, Scott always said that could Adam 
print his face with his stories he need not have written. 
Scott, himself abounding in every kind of anecdote, never 
spoke in Sir Adam's company but to draw him out. If he 
took a walk with you, he would relate things which he 
observed, and which you missed. He had every quality of 
a great dramatist. He seized on the essence of things. He 
was equally apt for fun or for wit. He could make you roar 
or weep. His anecdotes were full of the marrow, pith, sap of 
human nature. They were endless ; for he had no repertory 
to be produced in driblets and for chosen occasions. Break- 
fast, dinner, or supper ; morning, noon, and night ; with us 
alone, or with a company, and at a feast, he never failed and 
never bored. No one ever feared his wit or tired of his 
humour, for his simple and excellent manners and tact made 


him appreciate others and draw them out. But few chose to 
talk if they could evoke Sir Adam. Besides the power of 
vividly bringing the scenes and sentiments of his stories 
before you, he had a thousand methods of suggesting 
thoughts which kept the dullest imagination alive. Thus he 
could by pithy descriptions and a modulation of voice make 
you believe you heard the distant huzzas of a large body 
rushing to the combat. So too it was with the tramp of 
cavalry gradually approaching with its distant thunder ; and 
so also with the chattering (as Napier calls it) of infantry 

' I have seen Sir Walter listening entranced as Adam 
Ferguson was describing some trait of battle witnessed by 
himself; and as the interest gathered he has jumped up 
from his chair, and joined the imaginary host in the melee y 
clapping his hands and shouting and stamping about with 
prodigious vigour.^ 

' This power of raising and fixing the imagination in man 
he , could somehow use to animals. The excellent and 
quaint Lord Eldin (John Clerk) had a favourite jackdaw, 
which was permitted whenever there was company to come 
to dessert and to Avalk up and down the table and pick 
for himself Adam Ferguson volunteered to make him talk, 
and began instanter to utter certain sounds which very 
speedily withdrew the bird from his food, and produced from 
him a counterblast, to the exquisite delight and astonish- 
ment of the host, who shouted, " Eh ! Adam kens the Daw 
langige — he kens the Daw langige " ; the colloquy continuing 

1 Writing of his first visit to Abbotsford, in October 1818, Lockhart says : 
' I had never before seen Scott in such buoyant spirits as he showed this 
evening, and I never saw him in higher afterwards, and no wonder, for this 
was the first time that he. Lord Melville, and Adam Ferguson, daily com- 
panions at the High School of Edinburgh, and partners in many joyous 
scenes of the early Volunteer period, had met since the commencement of 
what I may call tlie serious part of any of their lives. The great poet and 
novelist was receiving them under his own roof, when his fame was at its 
acme, and his fortune seemed culminating to about a corresponding height, 
and the generous exubei'ance of his hilarity might have overflowed without 
moving the spleen of a cynic. Old stories of the Yards and the Crosscause- 
way were relieved by sketches of real warfare such as none but Ferguson, or 
Charles Matthews, had he been a soldier, could ever have given.' 


till the laughter of the guests silenced both the actors. Sir 
Adam then gave us the substance of their talk, much after 
the fashion of those ancient ballads so connnon and so 
characteristic in Scotland — like " The Twa Corbies." 

' To the few who lived in those days and have survived to 
recall the early manhood of Lockhart and the splendid group 
of which he was last, the influence of Adam Ferguson on the 
elaboration of the Waverley Novels needs not to be told. 
It is true that Scott, like Shakespeare, could fill up the 
meagrest outhne with soul and body,^ but Adam Ferguson's 
hints were neither few nor lean. Sir Dugald Dalgetty, as far 
as shrewdness and aptitude in conforming to Hfe and making 
life conform to himself, was a sketch for which the knight 
himself sat. The mercenary soldier was due to the necessities 
of artistic figiu^es in the drama, and had no application to 

'Some of the traits of Monkbarns, the Antiquary, the 
especial favourite of Sir Walter (who, by the way, drew 
largely from himself in depicting that most finished of his 
finished characters) were given by Sir Adam. That tour de 
force in the Fair Maid of Perth, where fear, the most abject 
of passions, is so skilfully used and depicted in the character 
of the young chieftain as to excite the deepest commiseration, 
was worked out from an incident in the Peninsular War 
which Sir Adam saw, and wiiich they who ever heard Adam 
narrate it will never forget. Till Scott gave us this picture, 
I believe that this precise conflict of passions and duties has 
never been attempted by any modern or ancient author. 

' However, Adam Ferguson, though the first of observers 
and narrators, w^as not the only one who kept the great 
unknown supplied by all kinds of hints and traits, to be 
Avrought up by a prodigious capacity of memory and imagina- 
tion into whatever the author choose. 

1 This creative faculty was so intense in Scott that I have known him read 
day after day, the veriest trashy novels with intense interest, laughing and 
chuckling over them as much as he would over a choice page of Fielding or 
Swift. A moment's conversation with him proved that while reading he was 
re-weaving the warp and woof of the tissue, filling up the characters, and 
thoroughly enjoying his own creations, which, as in a dream, he had fancied 
were another's.— Ji-S'-S'. of JJr. Robert Ferguson. 


' Indeed, all Tweedside in those days seemed to jump into 
the humour of the Laird of Abbotsford, and whether with 
Adam Ferguson or with Lockhart, a morning among the 
small farms and roadside cottages ended in many a " crack " 
with some specimen of the Dandie Dinmont or Andrew 
Fairservice species. The ladies of Abbotsford found ample 
amusement with the daily visits of the old ladies of Huntly.^ 
Gentlewomen by birth and education, they became eccentric 
from the long habit of seclusion in which they had lived 
during their father's (Professor Ferguson) retirement at St. 
Andrews. Lockhart, too, delighted in their originality of 
thought and demeanour, and much admired the quaint, rich, 
and copious Doric in which they revelled. I think both 
Scott and Lockhart had more delight in listening to this 
" gentle " dialect as spoken by Lord Cockburn at the Bar, with 
overwhelming effect on a jury, than in any attempts of 

1 The ' Three Weird Sisters.' Scott describes the three to Lord Montagu — 
Margaret, he says, is extremely like her brother (Sir Adam) in the turn of 
thought and humour, and he has two other sisters who are as great curiosities 
in their way. The eldest {Isabel — known as Bell) is a complete old maid, with 
all the gravity and shyness of the character, but not a grain of its bad 
humour or spleen ; on the contrary, she is one of the kindest and most 
motherly creatures in the world. The second, Mary, was in her day a very 
pretty girl ; but her person became deformed, and she has the sharpness of 
features with which that circiamstance is sometimes attended. She rises 
very early in the morning and roams over all my wild land in the neighbour- 
hood, wearing the most complicated pile of handkerchiefs of different colours 
on her head, and a stick double her own height in her hand, attended by 
two dogs whose powers of yelping are really terrific. With such garb 
and accomplishments she has very nearly established the character in the 
neighbourhood of being something no canny — and the urchins of Melrose and 
Darnick are frightened from gathering hazel nuts and cutting wands in my 
cleugh for fear of meeting the daft lady. With all this quizzicality, I do not 
believe there ever existed a family with so much mutual aflFection, and such 
an overflow of benevolence to all around them from men and women down to 
hedge-sparrows and lame ass colts, more than one of which they have taken 
under their direct and special protection.' Bell died on December 24, 1830 : 
Scott calls her ' an old friend, and a woman of the most excellent condition. 
The last two or almost three years were very sickly.' He attended her funeral 
on December 29 : ' In a cold day I saw poor Bell laid in her cold bed. ' Mary 
had died in January 1829. 'Alas,' writes Scott ; ' my poor innocent friend 
Mary is no more. She was a person of some odd and peculiar habits, wore 
a singular dress, and affected wild and solitary haunts, but she was at the 
same time a woman of talent and even genius. She iised often to take long 
walks with me up through the glens. . . . ' 


trimmed English of any of their legal contemporaries; for 
Lockhart has remarked in Peters Letters that the Scotch 
that was then spoken was learnt from the highest grades of 
society, while that which is now spoken is the vernacular of 
the lower caste, bearing the mark of a differing cultivation. 

* The three families of Abbotsford, Huntly Burn, and Chiefs- 
wood were really but one.' 

Account by Robert Ferguson, M.D., of Lockhart at Chiefs- 
wood, and Sir Adam Ferguson's visits there. 

' This romantic little cottage was placed in a small oval 
field surrounded by hills, of which the three Eildons were 
the most remarkable. A burn not three feet broad ran 
through the little domain ; a tree or two studded the plateau,, 
which was belted by a beech and other wood, stretching up to 
Huntly Burn, the residence of Sir A. Ferguson, the Rhymer's 
Glen, losing itself in the bare downs. . . . 

' On a summer morning Lockhart was sure to be found in 
dressing-gown and cap, always chosen by his wife (Scott's 
daughter) with a view to the picturesque, sitting or walking" 
up and down, writing materials and the terrors of a forth- 
coming Blackwood before him. Johnny, his first-born, then 
a beautiful fair-haired boy, never left his side, urging him to 
romp, and never in vain. Through the lattice of the bay 
window " Sophia " was always to be seen, and always ready 
to relieve the author when the parent was overpowered by 
the importunities of the child. A dog or two of the " Pepper " 
or " Mustard " kind, however, were useful in performing this 
welcome duty, and undertook to distract the boy not un- 
willingly by an invitation to a scamper. Many a pungent 
page of sound scholarship and criticism was put forth under 
these influences. 

'A little before mid-day a tall, gaunt, soldier-like figure, 
with a weather-beaten face, emerged from the wood at the 
bottom of the meadows — a most welcome visitor. Sir A. 
Ferguson — and then all work was up, and the fun began, the 
lattice was thrown open, and a merry ringing laugh within 
kept up as chorus to the peals and shouts which were going 
on outside. 


'Abbotsford was then the resting-place of every pilgrhir 
from every part of the world, whose conduct and conversa- 
tion often afforded the richest treat to both Lockhart and 
Ferguson. They who know the men need not be told that 
while no trait of the ridiculous could pass unnoticed, both 
enjoyed fun far too much to dwell or enlarge upon what 
could call forth an unkind feeling ; indeed, Lockhart never 
associated with or spoke of those whom he disliked. Every- 
thing about him was touched with fun. The children's 
donkeys were designated by names which made their 
delinquencies fatal to all gravity, as the stalwart " Dawvid " 
announced, with the most unconscious seriousness, that 
" Hannah Moore had broken through the fences, and been 
wi' the meenister a' the nicht." 

'At 3 or 4 Sir Walter generally joined the circle, welcomed 
by a shout from the boy, and the caresses of the doggies 
which never quitted him. Then came the histories of the 
past day, and the plans of the morrow, with a thousand tales 
and illustrations, and a few rebukes to the pungent com- 
mentaries of Lockhart. 

' Anne, and Lady Scott, called in the carriage to take Sophia 
to dinner or a drive, while Lockhart always joined the circle 
at Abbotsford later.' 

ROBERT FERGUSON, M.D., 1799-1865. 

It is hoped, at no very distant date, to publish a Memoir of 
this remarkable man, founded in great part on his own 
diaries and correspondence, so far as they can properly be 
given to the world. It is not proposed, therefore, on the 
present occasion, to do more than outline briefly the salient 
features of his life, with the aid of the account given of him 
by the Medical Times and Gazette of the 1st July 1865. 

Robert was born in India on the 15th November 1799. 
His father, Robert Ferguson, of the Indian Salt Department, 
resigned his position in 1801, and set off for America, where old 
Robert Ferguson of Perth, the grandfather, had had property ; 
and little Robert and his two sisters were sent to England to 
be under the care of relatives. His father returned in very 
good circumstances to England after no very long stay in 



America, but lived principally at Bath and l^ristol, so that 
young Robert never had a true home. He was fortunate, 
however, in being much under the care of Sir John Mac- 
pherson, formerly Governor-General of India, a friend of the 
Ferguson family of more than forty years' standing. 

Robert was educated at Dr. Crombie's at Croydon. His 
own Avish had been to join the army, but the state of his 
father's atfairs rendered it necessary to give up that plan, and 
eventually he decided to adopt the medical profession, and 
accordingly entered as an assistant in the Marylebone Infir- 
mary. After some time spent there he went abroad, and 
became a student at the University of Heidelberg, returning 
to this country at the end of 1822, and studying then at the 
University of Edinburgh, Avhere he took his degree in 1823. 

His earliest years of professional life were diversified by 
travel as medical attendant with various families in high life. 
Thus he travelled in Greece and the Ionian Islands with a 
son of Sir William Forbes, and resided some time in the family 
of Sir Francis Burdett. At this time strikingly handsome, 
gifted as a linguist, able to sing well and accompany himself 
on almost any stringed instrument, there can be little wonder 
that he became very popular in society; but at the same 
time he was drawn into the closest intimacy with whatsoever 
there was most intellectual in the world of letters or of 
physic. He enjoyed the friendship of Sir Walter Scott and 
his family, and especially of Scott's son-in-law, Lockhart, with 
whom till his death he maintained the most constant and 
affectionate intercourse. Washington Irving, Wordsworth 
the poet, and Newton the painter were amongst his intimates. 
Amongst his professional friends were reckoned Dr. Watson, 
the President of the College of Physicians, Brodie, and 
especially Dr. Gooch, that brightest and cleverest of intellects, 
after whose steps he endeavoured to shape his own course. 
With such associates he was naturally occupied with a good 
deal of literary work. He was a frequent contributor to the 
Quarterly Review, and wrote a history of Insects for the 
Family Library, instituted and published by John Murray. 
But whilst these were the diversions of his leisure hours, he 
was steadily working his way into practice. The nucleus, so 


to say, of his patients consisted partly of families to which 
he was introduced by Dr. Gooch, and partly of that highly- 
gifted set of whom Sir Walter Scott and his son-in-law, 
Lockhart, were the chief. At any rate, by the year 1830, 
when he was thirty years old, he had attained an income of 
£1000 per annum. 

About this time King's College was opened for the express 
purpose of combating the too liberal and, as it was thought, 
perhaps irreligious or revolutionary tendencies of the London 
University. The Chair of Midwifery was accepted by Fergu- 
son, who had for his colleagues Herbert Mayo, Joseph Henry 
Green, J. F. Daniell, Bissett Hawkins, Francis Hawkins, and 
Partridge. He had been previously elected Physician to 
the General Lying-in-Hospital in the York Road, Avhere he 
gathered materials for his work on puerperal fevers, which 
was published by Murray in 1839. 

He was now fully occupied in the busiest and most lucra- 
tive practice, and found it expedient to resign his professor- 
ship, in which he was succeeded by Dr. Arthur Farre. 

Soon afterwards he was appointed ' Physician Accoucheur ' 
to the Queen, and in that capacity assisted at the births of 
all the Royal children. 

And now came a bold and hazardous, but well-designed 
and entirely successful movement in his professional career. 
He dropped the special ' midwifery ' department of his prac- 
tice, and announced himself a physician in the largest sense. 
This decision was attended with complete success. Society 
accepted him as one of the greatest medical authorities. He 
became ' Physician Extraordinary ' to the Queen, and thence- 
forward the amount of his occupation was only limited by 
his power of undertaking it. ' He was more consulted per- 
haps ' (says the Medical Times and Gazette) ' than any other 
living man in all the weightiest cases of the world. No 
physician was so well known, not merely to all the great 
families of this Empire, of whatever side in politics, bishops, 
lords, dignitaries of every grade, but to the crowned heads 
of Europe.' A remarkable instance in illustration of this 
last statement is his visit to Paris in the year 1856, in 
consequence of an intimation made to him through M. de 


Persigny, the French ambassador at this court, that the 
Emperor Napoleon iii. desired to consult him as to the state of 
his health. Of this visit one of the diaries contains a full and 
deeply interesting account, as it does of the curious case of the 
Prince de Moskowa, a son of Ney, the famous French marshal. 
Dr. Ferguson took an unusually keen and intelligent inte- 
rest in the foreign and domestic politics of his time, a study 
which his intimate acquaintance with some of the leading 
statesmen of his own and foreign countries gave him excep- 
tional opportunities of pursuing. His private diaries give ample 
evidence of the care with which he watched passing events, 
and of the important information which was given him by 
those who were taking an active part in the affairs of 

As often happens in the medical profession, Ferguson's 
success was fatal to him. In trying to save others he lost his 
own life. In 1861 he was summoned to the bedside of a 
great northern prelate, a member of a family with which he 
had always been on more than a usual footing of familiarity. 
Four rapid journeys to Durham, with the fatigue, loss of 
sleep, and anxiety in which professional and personal regard 
for his patient were mingled, and the harassing nature of his 
ordinary work as well, were too much for him. His heart 
gave way. He Hghtened his work and removed to a smaller 
house ; spent much of his time out of town and was for a 
while better. But the enemy came at last. He was walking 
in the garden of his country seat. Ascot Cottage, Winkfield, 
near Windsor, about one o'clock on Sunday, June 25th, 1865, 
when he was seized with his last attack. He lay almost life- 
less for some hours, and life ebbed away so slowly that those 
about him hardly knew the minute of his decease. 

His first marriage took place in 1830 to Cecilia, one of the 
ancient and noble French family of Labalmondiere. She died 
in 1842. There were no children by this marriage. 

In 1846 he married again, his wife being Mary Macleod of 
Macleod, sister of Macleod of ])unvegan in Skye. She out- 
lived him nineteen years, and died in 1884. 

He has left five children, all still living : — 

(1) Mary Roma, born 1847 ; married to Henry C. B. Far- 


rant, Colonel of the 81st Regiment (Loyal North 

(2) Robert Norman Ronald, born 1848 ; married to Rose 

Geraldine, second daughter of the late Lawrence 
Cumberbatch, M.D. (a Clerk in the Treasury since 

(3) Marion Cecil, born 1849 ; unmarried ; a sculptor. 

(4) Harold Stuart, born 1850, late Royal Artillery, now 

second in command of the Nair Brigade of the 
Rajah of Travancore ; married to Isabel Julia Max- 
well (niece of Field- Marshal Lord Roberts, V.C.), 
daughter of the late Colonel Hamilton Maxwell of 
the Bengal Staff Corps. 

(5) Robert Henry Bruce, born 1854 ; is in the Police Ser- 

vice of the Rajah of Travancore ; is unmarried. 


(Sir) Adami Ferguson to his cousin Robert (^Bob), 
c/o Messrs. Coutts, London. 

' Edinburgh, Srd June 1818. 

' My DEAR Robert, — My 3 sisters, brother Jack [the Ad- 
miral, then Captain], and self are here on our flight from St. 
Andrews to our new rural retreat near the banks of the 
Tweed, about a mile and a half from the renowned village and 
abbey of Melrose ; and we leave this to-morrow per coach, bag 
and baggage. . . . How is Robert [M.D., Bob's son] getting 
on now ? I was rather surprised to hear that he had come 
to the resolution of studying for an M.D. I thought he was 
set upon ' sporting the red rag,' as it is technically termed.^ 
. . . As for myself I continue vegetating on half pay, but my 
friends have proposed me as a candidate for the situation of 
Keeper of the Scottish Regalia, which were lately discovered 
in the Castle here. There are several competitors in the field. 
It will, I suppose, have a salary attached to it of between 
£200 and £300 a year, and it would form a most comfortable 
addition to my present income, which does not exceed £70 p.a. 

^ My father's disappointment at being unable to enter the army was 


This, you Avill allow, for a person of my " figure and fashion," 
is a Uttle circumscribed. . . . 

Captain John {the Achniral) to Boh,c/o Messrs. Coutts, London. 
' HuNTLY Burn, by Melrose, 25th Aug. 1818. 

* My dear Robert, — We have been fixed in our new resi- 
dence for upwards of 2 months, and am happy to say per- 
fectly delighted with it ; a most beautiful part of the country, 
a snug httle house and garden, with as much ground as to 
feed a cow and 3 horses. Our good landlord, Walter Scott 
(Old Scotia's pride), is only a mile and a half from us ; it will 
tempt me to stay at home. . . . You have no conception how 
nuich better the damsels are since they came here. We have 
several old friends in the neighbourhood. I wish you could 
make out a trip next spring to see it. The country, etc., is well 
worth seeing, I can assure you. Adam and Walter Scott are 
away upon a visit to the Duke of Buccleuch just now. . . .' 

Captain John to Bob. 

' HuxTLY Burn, 7th Oct. 1819. 

My dear Robert, — . . . Here we are, jogging on in a quiet 
way. Adam and I have been running about a little, shooting ; 
we were in the Highlands for a fortnight not far from Logi- 
rate (sic), but had not very good sport. Things are going on 
here very well, and we have had a most delightful season for 
the first year of the farm. Our landlord (Sir Walter), I am 
happy to say, is once more in the best of health. . . .' 

(Sir) Adam to Boh, at 16 College Green, Bristol. 
[Sir Adam on Quacks.] 

* HuNTLY Burn, 15th Aug. 1820. 
*. . . Brother Jack had yesterday, I am happy to say, very 
favourable accounts of our friend. Sir J. Macpherson, who 
seems to be rallying again in a wonderful manner ; a provi- 
dential occurrence having rid him of the apothecary and 
his draughts, his appetite, and along with it bodily strength, 
have both returned. But for his having been reared in the 


air of Skye he must long ago have been in the other world 
after such a lengthened discipline in the ^Esculapian school ; 
I should rather say that of downright empirics. I trust you 
will never get into the hands of quacks, and as I certainly shall 
not, we may both live to eat many more dinners together at 
the comfortable shop in Covent Garden. Kindest remem- 
brances from all the spinsters and the skipper. . . .' 

James in India to Boh, c/o Messrs. Coutts, London. 

[James's love for his family, in spite of his neglect of letter- 
writing, and their love for him, are beautifully shown in this 
and following letters.] 

' DiHLEE, Atuj. 6, 1821. 

' My dear Robert, — Although you have not had a letter 
from me for so long a period, the enclosed Bill [for £1500 — 
a gift] may probably first attract your notice ; so I shall 
explain the intention of it before I give you any account of 
myself I have myself to blame for not having had any letters 
from home since 1816. One letter from my sister Margaret 
gave an account of our beloved father's [the Professor's] last 
days, but without making any mention of the situation in 
which they and my dear brothers were left by the event of 
his death. It is curious that a publication of that time in 
some degree supplied the deficiency. From it I observed 
that his daughters had the means of living comfortably and 
respectably in the mansion at St. Andrews. It is likely, I 
have thought, that Adam's situation in the army would by 
my father be conceived a sufficient provision, and whatever 
he had to bequeath would be left to my sisters. The object 
of the present remittance is to enable Adam to buy a majority 
if he has not left the army, or by an annuity to supply what 
the advanced rank would afford in addition to his income. I 
trust to his affection that he will accept it. My affection for 
him is as warm, and I may say exactly of the same kind, as 
when I left home, mingled as it was with respect for an elder 
brother ; and I cannot endure the idea of his not sharing in 
this small part of my better fortune. I make the amount 
payable to you, as I know how it will find you in London ; in 
short (I know) that you will have the kindness to be agent 


for Adam and dispose of it in any way he likes best. If it 
adds to his comfort it Avill be my happiness. 

' Now I shall tell you by what course of good fortune I 
happen to have the means of sending the enclosed after all 
my own wants are provided for. Two persons who are held 
in highest estimation in this country have accidentally but 
greatly befriended me ; I mean Sir David Auchterlony and 
Mr. Metcalfe. During the Ghoorka war in 1814 I got the 
command of a kind of militia corps of 1200 men, and when 
the war was ended gave it up to be an assistant to the Resi- 
dent. Sir D. Auchterlony commanded the Rajpootana Divi- 
sion of the army in our last war against the Pindarees, and 
he took me with him as an extra aide-de-camp, and likewise 
to do a little in the way of business, having political com- 
bined with his military duties. At the end of the war he 
was appointed Resident with the Rajpoot States, and asked 
Government to appoint me his first assistant. It happened, 
however, that an old first assistant who had been thrown out 
of office by the new territorial arrangements, was first to be 
provided for, and I continued with Mr. Metcalfe at Dihlee. 
I have had, however, no reason to regret it, for in the course 
of 12 months Mr. Metcalfe was appointed political secre- 
tary to Government, and Sir David Auchterlony succeeded 
to the Residency here under a new arrangement, the judicial 
and revenue affairs being conducted by a civil commissioner, 
who got all the assistants of the Residency (being Civil ser- 
vants) attached to his office ; and I, your unworthy cousin, 
became first assistant to the Resident, who had the political 
affairs under his charge, and as Major-General commanded 
the Division. The arrangement has never been correctly 
given in the Calcutta Register ; and I daresay you look into 
it sometimes to see how your old friends succeed in life. 
You know that I might about the end of this year retire on 
the full pension of my rank ; but as the majority is near at 
hand, I must now stay until November 1822. It gives an 
addition of £100, and then I shall be able to retire with at 
least £000 a year ; as much as can be required for every 
purpose of comfort and happiness. No one who has been 
22 years in this country can boast of a liver perfectly sound, 


and mine is a little troublesome, particularly when I have 
to attend his Majesty the Great Mogul to the mosque, and 
the thermometer is up at 99 ; otherwise I have pretty good 
health. I hope you enjoy pretty good health, and that Ave 
shall pass many happy days together in the smoke of London. 
I shall expect to arrive early in the summer of 1823. We 
enjoy profound peace in this country, and I am at all times 
an enemy to war ; otherwise I could almost wish it for 
John's [the Admiral's] sake. He must be sadly tired of a 
land life. [It will be remembered that from 1817 to 1823 
John had no employment.] . . . We have had little corre- 
spondence. It is not through want of affection, and I can 
assure you I am, my dear Robert, as ever, your affectionate 
cousin, J. Ferguson.' 

(Sir) Adam to Boh, at 16 College Green, Bristol, about 
James s Letter. 

[It will be remembered that in April 1821, then aged fifty, 
he married Mrs. Lyon, and settled at Gattonside House, near 

' 6 DuNUAS St., Edinburgh, IQth Feb. 1822. 

' My dear Robert, — You may guess that I received your 
kind letter of the 10th inst., with its inclosure, with no small 
delight. What a most gratifying letter from James, and how 
consoling to us all to find, notwithstanding all appearances 
to the contrary, that he is the same kind and affectionate 
fellow that ever he Avas. I transmitted his letter yesterday 
to the good spinsters at Huntly Burn, and I am certain that 
for many a day past they have not received so joyful and 
welcome a communication. The idea that he is coming 
home for good and all in comparatively good health to spend 
the rest of his days amongst us is not the least pleasing- 
circumstance of the whole. I believe the regular ships of the 
season for Bengal are all sailed, but Colonel Burnett's eldest 
son, James, is about to proceed in a private ship to Calcutta, 
and he will take charge of a letter for James, which he may 
receive before he quits the country in November next. My 


wife and I will come up to London in spring 1823 to meet 
him on his arrival. . . . 

' As to the contents of the bill for £1500, you have done 
perfectly right in employing it in the purchase of Exchequer 
Bills, and so it may remain invested till James's arrival. As 
the purpose for which he kindly intended it, viz., my promotion 
in the army, cannot now be fulfilled, and as my circumstances, 
in consequence of my marriage and other events, are in a 
better condition than James could have conceived, I feel a 
delicacy in appropriating any part of this his most generous 
remittance. No doubt the first year of my matrimonial life 
has been a more costly one than I could have wished, what 
with travelling and buying furniture ; and £100 or £200 might 
have been not altogether unacceptable, but 1 hope I shall be 
able with care and management on my own part and that of 
my wife to bring all things round in the course of the ensuing 
year and have a little to spare. However, there is a way in 
which a part of this money might be employed in a most 
satisfactory manner to James. Brother Jack [afterwards the 
Admiral] is now in London looking after his interests at the 
Admiralty, and has a pretty good prospect of getting a ship, 
though perhaps not immediately. Now you know the outfit of 
a frigate is attended with serious expense, and I have no doubt 
£100 or £200 would be of material service to him when he is 
put in commission ; and as you are the guardian of the money 
in question, I hereby authorise you, in so far as I am con- 
cerned, to make ofier to Jack of any sum that he may require 
for the purpose above stated. He is in lodgings at 4 War- 
wick Street, Charing Cross. . . . My spouse and I have come 
in here for a few weeks to make some visits to friends and 
relations. . . . She begs her kindest regards to you. She has, 
I am happy to say, agreed wonderfully well with a country 
life, and has got plump and rosy. . . . When you write I 
wish you would mention what your last accounts of Robert ^ 

^ Bob's son, R.F., M.D., then aged twenty-three. 


Captain {afterwards Admiral) Ferguson to Boh, at 
16 College Green, Bristol — in j^i^aise of James. 

* 4 Warwick Street, Charing Cross, 
22nd February 1822. 

' My dear Robert, — I have just had the pleasure of 
receiving yours of the 21st. . . . I have also a letter from 
Adam, making mention of the money. A copy of Jamie's 
letter has been sent me from Huntly Burn. I see he is the 
same warm-hearted good creature he ever was. Oh, what a 
blessing. The damsels at Huntly Burn will be quite 
daft ' 

Sir Adam on his new honours — to Boh, at 16 College Green, 


' Gattonside House, by Melrose, 
8th January 1823. 

' My dear Robert, — This comes in name of spouse and self 
to wish you many happy returns of the season. We hear 
from brother John that you are enjoying your quiet and 
retired mode of existence in your snug retreat at Bristol. 
This is the first letter I have addressed to you since I became 
a person of rank amd title, and I trust it will be received by 
you with all the deference and respect befitting its author. 
I have no doubt, however, that you grinned a good broad 
grin when you heard that I had been dubbed by His Majesty, 
and that you thought that I had just as much use for knight- 
hood as a cart has for a third wheel, to use a homely phrase, 
and so, between you and I and the post, so thought I ; though 
it was not to be expected that 3Iy Lady was to reason in the 
same philosophic manner. However it is, as the saying goes, 
an ill wind that blows no one good, for it will enable you to 
acquire additional respect in the eyes of your eating-house 
chums on College Green, your being enabled to quote your 
cousin, Sir Adam ! However, joking apart, the honour in 
question came upon me both unasked and unlooked for, and 
as it was understood that, from the high situation I held as 
Keeper of the Crown of Scotland, some mark of Royal favour 
was to be bestowed on me, so was I anxious to have that 


conferred in the shape of an additional step of military rank ; 
but the regulations of the Horse Guards, I being on the 
retired list, stood in the way of this ; and the other was hit 
upon as the only step which suited my official dignity. . . . 
Bob [my father, R. R, M.D., then aged twenty-three] was out 
here for a week during the height of our holiday festivities, 
and was a general favourite, having from his various 
talents and accomplishments made a great addition to 
our rustic society. He says he is hard at study, but 
whether he will actually ever become an M.D. is matter of 
speculation. . . .' 

Sir Adam to Bob (c/o Messrs. Coutts), on Bob's daughter 
Kitty's marriage to James Gary, son of the Translator 
of Dante. 

■ ' Gattonside House, by Melrose, 
25th July 1823. 

' My dear Robert, — I am about to step into a carriage on 
a little expedition with my wife and James. . . . My spouse 
joins in kindest congratulations to you on the late happy 
event, and best Avishes for the health and happiness of the 
young pair, to which also accede spinsters over the way and 
Jamie. . . .' 

Sir Adaon to Bob (c/o Messrs. Coutts). 

* Gattonside House, by Melrose, 
•2lst February 1824. 

' My dear Robert, — . . . Brother James and I have been 
absent on a visit to our old landlord, Mr. Campbell of Kailzie, 
in Peeblesshire, where we spent a very pleasant week, and 
visited all our old haunts in the neighbourhood of our former 
abode of Hallyards. And now as I know that you are not a 
person that relishes fine flummery speeches or high-flown 
oratorical flights, I will content myself with saying that the 
snufi'-box which you have had the kindness to present to me 
has been much admired on all hands ; and a few friends 
having dined here yesterday, the health of the donor was 
drunk in a bumper of good Avhisky punch, and the box shall 
descend among my nearest of kin as an heirloom along with 


my late excellent father's gold-headed cane, etc. . . . and 
now to enhance the value of your present, suppose you put 
your foot on a steam packet some three or four months hence, 
and come down and let us have a crack and a pinch, washed 
down with a bowl of best Glenlivat. 

' I am glad to find that your inherent and hereditary philo- 
sophy has never left you during all the season of gloom 
which has overcast the countenances of most holders of 
Spanish Bonds ;i indeed, to judge from the size of the elegant 
sneeshin mull in question, I had almost come to the conclu- 
sion that you had also become a Mexican mineholder. So 
there is a piece of wit for you, as I know you love a joke. 

' Jamie talks of being with you in April, but he is so com- 
fortable where he is that it will not be an easy matter to get 
himself under way. 

' So with best love from my wife, and from your spinster 
cousins over the way, to yourself and Dr. Bob, I remain, my 
dear Robert, yours most aif y-, Adam Ferguson.' 

1 The reader will not miss the allusion to that fine old Spartan philosopher, 
Bob's father (1719-97). It was investment in these which was in great part 
the cause of poor Bob's ruin. 

Section VIII 


Mr. Robert Fergussons Memorandum. 

Notes on the History of the Branch of the Fergussons of 
Dunfallandy and others, as gathered from time to 
time from my Father, Donald Fergusson, who died at 
Moulin, Perthshire, in May 1860, aged 84 years. Com- 
municated by Mr. Robert Fergusson, Aberdeen. 

In the year 1329, when King David the Second ascended 
the throne, which year was extraordinary with heavy floods, 
so the Highland people called the King Dai-an-uisge (David 
of the waters or flood), there came Adam Fergusson with his 
family from Ayrshire, supposed to be Kilcherran, and squatted 
at West Haugh immediately west of the present Middle 
Haugh and at east end of Poldour, a long pool on the Tum- 
mel, and about a mile east of Pitlochry ; in fact it used to be 
cast up to my father that it was not for building kirks that 
his forefather fled from his own country. And being from 
the sea coast and accustomed to sails he did not wait to 
build a house, but set up a tent of canvas, which was spun 
from tow and woven by the natives and used by them on the 
floor between their barn doors to winnow their corn by the 
wind, and called by them in Gaelic a Cannaib, and the 
thing being so new to the Highlanders they called Adam 
Adi-na-Cannaibaig, or Adam of the Canvas. Immediately 
opposite West Haugh, on the south side of the Tununcl, lived 
also a Baron Stewart of Dunfallandy, called by the natives a 
'Baran Maol ' (the bald Baron). He had an only daughter, his 
heiress, and after some years Adi-na-Cannaibaig's family grew 
up, and Adam, his oldest son, courted Miss Stewart, but the 
old Baron would not give his consent, though the lassie was 
favourable ; the Baron held that the Fergussons were new 
comers and nobody knew of their antecedents. However, 


some time after, on a fine morning the Baran Maol was about 
the south side of theTummel,and old Adi-na-Cannaibaig among 
bushes on the opposite side, and the old fox let drive an arrow 
at the baron and killed him. Of course nobody knew who 
did the deed, and the baron was buried. No inquests in those 
days. In about a year after young Adam was married to Miss 
Stewart, hence the Dunfallandy Fergussons ; three genera- 
tions of them produced six generals in the army. The late 
General Fergusson of Dunfallandy, father to the late Wm. 
Fergusson and grandfather to the present Miss Fergusson, and 
my father used to shoot together, and the kindred discussed 
and agreed to. Some time after Adi-na-Cannaibaig died the 
family was ousted, being squatters, and Alexander, the 2nd 
son, migrated up the country to a place called Tigh-mor- 
Bohespick on the north side of the Tummel, about half way 
between Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch, and squatted there 
till absorbed by the Duke of Atholl. My father descended 
from him as well as other two families who are now extinct, 
so far as I knoAv. They were all distinguished from all other 
Fergussons by the addition to their names of Mac-Adi, or 
Adam's posterity. My great-great-grandfather was Robert 
Macadi F., my great-grandfather was Alexander Macadi F., 
my grandfather was Robert, and my father Donald, all Mac- 
adies, and in fact I was called the same up till I was 20 years 
of age, Avhen I left the country for Aberdeen. 

Robert Fergusson, 

Late Granite Merchant. 


nth July 1894. 

The above tradition was told to Mr. Robert Fergusson by 
his father, who was tenant of Fouruick, and afterwards at 
Balrobie, on the Tenandry estate. When Mr. Robert Fer- 
gusson was a boy he attended a school in Strathardle. Wood- 
hill or Balmacruchie then belonged to Fergussons, and there 
was another family of the same name a little further vip than 
Woodhill, and two or three in Glenshee still represented. His 
father, however, ' would not admit that any of the Perthshire 
families belonged to his kind except the Dunfallandy and a 
younger branch he had descended from.' 

Section IX 

The folloAviiig statement has been communicated by Mr. 
J. Fergiisson, Richmond Road, Cardiff, and his brother, Mr. 
Alexander Fergiisson, 300 Duke Street, Glasgow. 

Mr. J. Fergusson, who left Athole forty-three years ago, 
adds that he remembers his grandfather Thomas Fergusson 
well, having been when a child sent down to him from 
Rannoch to the place where he lived opposite Dunfallandy 
House, and that his father was for about forty years tenant 
on the estate of the late General Sir John M' Donald, who 
insisted on him competing in his seventy-fifth year at a 
ploughing match on the home farm, when, in spite of his 
years, he was awarded third prize : — 

' I, Alexander Fergusson, Live Stock Agent, 300 Duke 
Street, Dennistoun, Glasgow, born at Inverhadden, Rannoch, 
Perthshire, on the 11th day of January 1822, son of John 
Fergusson, born at Lagreach, near Pitlochrie, in the year 
1790 or 1791. 

' He was taken from his parents (Thomas Fergusson and 
Christina Douglas) when a child by General Fergusson of 
Dunfallandy, and educated there at his expense, he being 
considered the nearest male heir to the head of the clan. 

' Why he never became so I cannot say. He left Dun- 
fallandy shortly after leaving school, and learned the building 
trade under his father. 

' In the year 1820, when he was building Muir Lodge 
(his first contract after his apprenticeship), he made the 
acquaintance of Christina, eldest daughter of Alexander 
Macgi-egor, Inverhadden, ruling elder of the Established 
Church, Kinloch, whom he subsequently married in the end 
of February or the beginning of March 1821. He died at 
Balmore, and was buried in the Churchyard of the Esta- 
blished Church at Kinloch-Rannoch. 


' My father (John Fergusson) had three brothers and two 
sisters; the names of the sisters were Jane and Mary, and 
of the brothers Donald, William, and Adam. 

' Donald and William went to Baltimore, America, and 
Adam went to Keputh on the Tay, where he died. He was 
a blacksmith to trade. As far as my great-grandfather is 
concerned, I know nothing about him, further than that his 
name was Adam Fergusson. 

' ' Alexander Fergusson, 

300 DtiJce Street, Glasgoiv. 

* J. Fergusson, 

'Jfar. 23/95.' Cardiff. 

Section X 

{From the Fasti Scoticance Ecdesice. ) 

Moulin (Dunkeld). 

1736. Adam Fergiisson, trans, from Killin Pres. by 
James, Duke of Atliole, in Oct. 1735, and adm. 3rd Feb. 
after ; being appointed to intimate the sentence of the Com- 
mission in November 1733 declaring Mr. Wilson of Perth no 
longer a niin. of the Church in the pulpit of Perth, he was 
prevented doing so by a tumultuous multitude who met 
him at a distance from the city, and forcibly resisted his 
entrance. He took a considerable interest and share in the 
business of the Church, and was elected Moderator of the 
Gen. Ass., 21st May 1772, in opposition to Dr. John Erskinc 
of Edinburgh, by a majority of 120 to 93. Died 12th Dec. 
1785, in 81st year and 58th min. Married 31 Oct. 1735 
Amelia Menzies, who died 3rd May 1758, and had three sons 
and a daughter, Neil, Adam, James, and Yere. Publication — 
The Leading Characters of the Church of Rome, a sermon, 
Edin. 1750. 8vo. — [Pres. and Syn. Reg. New Stat Ace. x. 
Acts of Ass. 1734. Ferrier's Mem. of Wilson, etc.] 

Killin ( Weem). 

1728. Adam Fergussone, licens. by the Presb. 28th Dec. 

1726, pres. to Kirkmichael by the Laird of Asintully in April 

1727, which was not carried out ; called to this parish 25th 
June and ad. (ass. and sue.) 11th Sept. 1728; trans, to Moulin 
6th Jan. lim.— [Presb. Reg. New Stat. Ace. x.] 

Logierait {Weem). 

1714. Adam Fergusson, AM., trans, from Crathie, pres. by 
John Duke of Athol in June and adm. 22nd Nov. : he was 


pres. to Blair-Athol by his Grace in Nov. 1716, which he 
declined to accept. It was proposed in 1729 to make Logie- 
rait the seat of a new parish, but it did not take place. Mr. 
F. was the original mover in the Synod of Oct. 1732 against 
Mr. Eben. Erskine for his expressions in the Synod sermon 
which led to the secession from the Church in the following 
year. He continued discharging his sacred duties with 
faculties distinct and unimpaired till his death, 30th July 
1754, in 54th min. Iri appearance he is stated to have been 
rather beloAv the middle stature, round and stout made. He 
married Mary, daughter of Mr. Robert Gordon of the family 
of Hallhead, Aberdeenshire, and had a numerous family, of 
whom the Rev. Dr. Adam F., Professor of Moral Philosophy 
in the University of Edinburgh, was the most distinguished 
and best known. — [Pres. and Syn. Reg. New Stat Ace. x. 
Ferrier's Memoir of Wilson. Fergusons Tracts, etc.] 

Fortingal {or Fothergill) ( Weem). 

1722. Fergus Ferguson, A.M., studied at St. Leonard's 
College, and grad. St. And. 21 May 1713; called 31 Aug. 
1721, and ad. 8th May foil.; died 14 Dec. 1753 in 32nd min. 
Married, 29 Dec. 1726, Henrietta Menzies, who died 26 Nov. 
1751, and had two sons, Finlay and John, and two daughters, 
Eleonora and Ann. — {Act Rect Ass. St And. Pres. and 
Test Reg. (Dunkeld), etc.] 

1857. Fortingal. Samuel Fergusson. 

Rhynd (Perth). 

1722. Francis Fergusson, A.M., studied Old College, St. 
Andrews, grad. 31 May 1711, lie. Pres. of Kirkcaldy, 28 Aug. 
1718, called 12th Dec. 1721, and ad. 5th April succ. Died of 
love for a daughter of Moncrieff of East Rhynd, though he 
had neither informed the object of his affections nor any of 
her relations. When the young lady heard of it, she bade 
him live, and gave hope to him ; but the disease by that time 
was too deeply seated to be removed, and he died 9th April 
1729, in 8th min. — [Act Rect. St And. Pres. Reg., etc.] 


St. Stephen's Church, Perth. 

1835. John Ferguson, appointed schoolmaster of Kilnmver 
in 1821. Licen. by Pres. of Lorn 1st March 1831, elected 
unanimously 9 Oct. 1834, and ad. 25 March foil., trans, to 
Kihiinver 16 Feb. 18S8.—[Presh. Reg., etc.] 

Monivaird (Auchterarder). 

1835. John Ferguson, lie. 7 Sept. 1830, pres. by Thos. 
Robert, Earl of Kinnoul, in March, and ad. 9th June 1835. 
Joined Free Church, and adm. to Free Church, Bridge of 
Allan, 1844. Married, 1838, daughter of Rev. John Dempster 
of Denny. Publications — Account of Monivaird and Strowan 
{New. Stat. Ace. x.), Lecture xxi. (Fi^ee Church Pulpit, iii.).— 
[Presb. Reg. New Stat. Ace. x., etc.] 



An important branch of the clan Fergusson {clann Mhic 
Fearghuis) has been settled in the parish of Balquhidder^ for 
at least the last six centuries.^ It is a somewhat curious 
circumstance that in all parts of Scotland where branches of 
this clan have been long established their early settlement is 
connected with King Robert the Bruce. Whether this is the 
case with the ancient families in Balquhidder it is difficult to 
say ; but Bruce took shelter here in 1306, after the battle of 
Dalree.^ It is impossible to discover whether this branch 

^ Balquhidder signifies ' the town at the back of the country ' — Baile- 

2 ' The more ancient clans inhabiting Balquhidder were the clan Laurin or 
M'Larens, the M'Intyres, the Buchanans, and the Fergussons, and more 
recently the M'Gregors and the Stewarts. There was also a family of the 
name of Alpynsone, at Auchtow, as appears from the Ragman Roll, where we 
have *' Duncan Alpynsone de Aughtunaghes " mentioned as one of those that 
swore fealty to Edward i.' — Rev, Samuel Fergusson in The Queeii's Visit, 
p. 178. 

3 ' Bruce, in his retreat from Dalree, entered the Braes of Balquhidder, 
pursued by his victorious enemies (MacDougall of Lome and the Macnabs of 
Glendochard). Himself last to retreat, and covering the retreat of his men, 
he is said to have taken post when hotly pursued on a large piece of rock in 
Loch Voil, on its northern shore and near its western end. On this rock the 
Bruce was fiercely assailed by the few who were bold enough to follow so far. 
His weapon, ever ready at his hand, flashed in its terrible sweep as his 
assailants fell in heaps beside the rock, and not until the last of them bit the 
dust, or pressed the waters of oblivion, did the King follow his men, who had 
retreated to the wild and inaccessible recesses of what has ever since been 
known as the King's rock (Craig-ree). In a cave in this mountain fastness 
the King remained in safety for a few days, the Laird of MacGregor, his 
staunch supporter and warm adherent, doing all in his power to procure 
fitting supplies for the King and his exhausted followers. The cave is still 
pointed out to the inquiring traveller, and the stone in the lake still marks 
the spot where the Bruce kept his own against all comers till his men were 
safe from pursuit.' — Queen's Visit, p. 163. 


originally came from Athole or not. Some of the Athole 
Fergussons are found here ; but as to the more ancient 
families tradition is silent. To show the important place 
occupied by the clan one has only to look at the churchyard 
and the old Parish Registers. There are still (1895) some 
fifty graves pertaining to the families of the name of 
Fergusson ; and the representatives of the oldest family in 
the district have a present right of burial in some twenty- 
five lairs in the Avestern and southern portions of the church- 
yard. This very old family^ has long been known as the 
ancient family of Ardandamh.- The oldest-dated gravestone 
(flat) in the churchyard of Balquhidder belongs to this family, 
and bears the date 1663, and the initials A. F. It is a long 
rough stone, lying recumbent on one of the graves situated 
in the western portion, and must, with the other stones of a 
like kind, have marked the burying-place of the Fergussons 
for many generations previous to the year 1663. Another 
stone adjoining bears the initials D. M. F. and M. M., with 
the following inscription : — ' Here lies in hope of a blessed 
resurrection the remains of Duncan Fergusson in Laggan of 
Strathire, who died in the year 1784, aged 44 years. Being 
of the anchant family of Artandamh. This stone was erected 
by Peter Fergusson his son.' Then follow these verses : — 

* How loved, how valued Once, avails thee not, 
By whom remembered, Or by whom forgot, 
A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 
It is that thou art, It is all the proud shall be.' 

One section, in direct descent, of this ancient family, who 
appear to have been so long resident at Ardandamh and 
Immervoulin ^ on Loch Lubnaig, went to Carnlia * on Loch 

^ The direct representatives of the ancient family of Ardandamh are Mr. 
Robert Fergusson, Muirlaggan, the Rev. R. Menzies Fergusson, M.A., 
minister of Logie, Stirlingshire, and their immediate relatives. 

- Ard-aii-damh, signifies 'the height of the stag'; it lies to the east of 
Laggan, on Loch Lubnaig. 

"' Immervoulin, iomair mhuileain, mill-ridge. Sir Herbert Maxwell, in his 
book, Sroftish Land-Names, says : ' lomaire (emery) is an obsolete word 
signifying a ridge or hill-back, surviving in the name Immervoulin, in Perth- 

■* Carnlia is the grey cairn, cay^n liaih. 


Earn, and thence to Muiiaggan/ on Loch Voil. The Fergus- 
sons of Carnha and Murlaggan were directly descended from 
the family of Ardandamh on the female side, and from the 
family of Immervoulin on the male side of the house.^ 
Ardandamh House was considered the best of its time in 
Balquhidder, and the fine oak joists of this old house were 
removed by John Fergusson^ (kno^vn as Tomnadrochig) to 
Murlaggan and built into the new house there. Donald of 
Carnha and his son Robert (Rob Mor) assisted at the removal 
from Ardandamh.* In the present house of Murlaggan there 
is built into the gable above one of the doorways a rudely 
carved half-length statue of a man in stone, which had been 
brought from Carnlia at the time of the migration of the 
family. This stone figure, which stood near the roadway at 
Carnlia, was commonly known as the bodach (old man), and 
was often the favourite mark for little Highland stone- 

^ Murlaggan, the big hollows, mor lagan. 

- Robert Fergusson of Carnlia married Isabella MacVean, and had issue: — 
Donald (of Carnlia), who married Isabella Fergusson and had issue — (1) 
Robert (Rob Mor of Murlaggan), born 7th November 1784, died 7th April 
1868, aged 84 years ; (2) Mary, born 30th April 1786 ; and (3) Duncan, born 
in 1789, died 16th November 1873, aged 84 years. Rob Mor was unmarried. 
Duncan married Grace M'Laren of Ardveich (whose family had been there in 
direct succession for six centuries) and had issue seven sons and one daughter, 
viz. (1) John, (2) Donald, (3) Duncan, (4), Robert, (5) Alexander, (6) Samuel, 
(7) Peter, and (8) Isabella. The fourth son, Robert, succeeded his uncle, 
Rob Moir, at Murlaggan, and died in IS ; he is now succeeded by his only 
son Robert. The eldest son, John, left a family, of which the eldest, Duncan, 
resides at Brig o' Turk. The second, Donald, died unmarried ; the third, 
Duncan, left two sons, Duncan and Peter, and one daughter, Isabella ; the 
fifth, Alexander, has three daughters ; the sixth, Samuel, became minister of 
Fortingall parish, and died 27th S,eptember 1869, leaving five sons ; the 
eldest, Duncan, a distinguished medical student of Glasgow University, 
was accidentally drowned while bathing in Loch Voil in July 1876, and is 
buried in Balquhidder churchyard ; another, Robert Menzies, is minister of 
the parish of Logic, Stirlingshire ; a third, Henry, is in Canada ; the fourth, 
Samuel, is an M.B., CM., practising in Alloa ; and the youngest, Donald, is 
assistant minister in the parish of North Leith. 

3 John Fergusson was uncle of Rob Mor and Duncan mentioned in pre- 
ceding note. 

^ A cousin of Donald of Carnlia^ named John, who was married to Isabella 
Fergusson, had a son John, born 12th September 1784, and at the same time 
was pressed into the army. He never returned ; but the representatives of 
his child John are supposed to be about Forfar. 


throwers as they passed along. A broken nose and chin 
bear evidence to this rough usage of former days. 

Previous to the coming of the Ardandamh and Carnlia 
Fergussons to Murlaggan there were eight families resident 
there, of which four were lairds and four cottars. The lairds, 
who were named Maclntyre, were portioners of Murlaggan, and 
related to the Fergussons, their successors. In their burying- 
ground in Balquhidder churchyard is one tombstone on which 
is inscribed, under their coat of arms, the following : — 

' Erected in memory of John Maclntyre, Portioner of Muir- 
laggan, who died in 1791, and Janet Mac' In tyre ^ his spouse, 
and John, Cathrine, Janet, Mary, their children, and Peter 
Maclntyre, Portioner of Muirlaggan, who died in May 1806.' 

Another stone runs : — 

' In memory of Malcolm Maclntyre,- Portioner of Muir- 
laggan, who died the 8th Feb. 1811, and Margaret M'Nie and 
Margaret Maclntyre, his spouses, and Donald and Janet Mac- 
lntyre, his parents.' 

From the late Mr. Robert Fergusson, Stirling (a native of 
Stronvar, Balquhidder), we received the following note : — 

' As Athole is claimed as the cradle of the clan, the inference 
is that they came originally from that district. It is well 
known that the Rev. Finlay Fergusson, parish minister of 
Balquhidder during the time of Dugald Buchanan, the Gaelic 
poet, came from Athole ; and it is natural to suppose he came 
to occupy that position through the influence of his clansmen 
in Balquhidder — that influence being all the greater if, as is 
very likely to have been the case, they originally belonged to 
the same district as himself^ 

' I can give no information regarding " the anchant family 
of Ardandamh." The probability is that one family of the 
clan found its way into Balquhidder, and then through that 
family, one after another, with the pluck and push of the 

^ Her maiden name was Janet Fergusson, and according to the Baptismal 
Ilegister they had a son Patrick or Peter, born June 7, 1747, who died in 
1806 as above. 

- This Malcolm was uncle to Peter Fergusson in Muirlaggan, who was 
known as ' Big Peter,' being 6 ft. 7 in. high. 

^ This is, however, somewhat fanciful. 


true Scotsman, soon spread and made room for themselves 
all over the parish ; for we find them in all parts of it. Now, 
according to this idea of one family coming first and the 
others following, it is probable that " the anchant family of 
Ardandamh" was the first family of the name that settled 
in Balquhidder, and so is entitled to be called " the anchant 
family." ^ There is one mark of its being an ancient family 
which has occurred to me. At the place called Ardandamh 
there is a splendid row of beech-trees, but no vestige now, 
as far as I remember, of the ruins of a house.^ Now it is 
evident from the grandeur of the trees that the house to 
which they long ago gave shelter must have been far above an 
ordinary one, and that the family occupying it must have been 
in a good social position ; and hence, mayhap, the distinctive 
title they assume, — " the anchant family of Ardandamh." 

' It will be of interest, I have no doubt, to know something 
of the unique position held by the clan in the western part of 
the parish — that part of it in which is the Parish Church and 
the churchyard, in which lie the remains of the famous Rob 
Roy.^ One son of the Rev. Finlay Fergusson, already men- 
tioned, became proprietor of Stronvar, which is now in the 
possession of Mr. James Carnegie, and while proprietor there 
he would have none but Fergussons as tenants under him. 
At the present time, more than a hundred years since then, 
the clan is represented in strong force in the same district 
still, there being no less than six families of the name of 
Fergusson within a short distance of one another. What 
will be of no little interest to the Clan Fergusson Society is 
that at least six members of the Council are Stronvar Fer- 

1 It is very doubtful if this is the case. The family of Immervoulin appears 
to be equally ancient, and if Mr. Fergusson's theory about the Fergussons 
coming from Athole is to hold, there must have been earlier traces of the 
name nearer the northern parts of the parish. 

- There is the trace of the ruins still. 

3 < He died at Inverlochlarigbeg in the Braes of Balquhidder in 1733, and 
was interred in the chancel of the ancient church of Balquhidder. His last 
resting-place is marked by a blue rudely sculptured stone, with a sword in 
pale and without inscription.'— ^weew's Visit, p. 172. An ornamental railing 
in bronze, designed by Mr. D. Macgregor Ferguson, sculptor, Glasgow, now 
surrounds the graves of Rob Roy, his wife Helen, and son Colin, with 
appropriate inscriptions. 


gussons. This proprietor of Stronvar, or, as he was famiUarly 
kuoAvn by his clansmen and countrymen as Rob (t Mhinisteir 
(the Minister's Robert), was a great legal luminary. It is told 
that on one occasion he took a case all the way to what was 
called the Green Table in London, and won it, which was 
considered in those days the most wonderful feat in the law 
line. Hence the people of Balquhidder looked up to him 
with awe and reverence. When any of them happened to 
quarrel and bethought them of going to get the matter 
settled by the lawyers at Dunblane, the laird of Stronvar 
soon settled it for them without going so far, and so saved 
them much trouble and expense.^ From this may be gathered 
the depth of meaning in the speech which the chief of the 
M'Nabs delivered over the grave of Rob a Mhinisteir. As 
the people (almost all the parish was there) were gazing at 
the newly closed grave, M'Nab thus briefly addressed them : 
" Men of Balquhidder, you may well look at that grave, for 
ere twelve months will have passed over you, you will be 
ready to give the teeth out of your heads if you could call 
him back again whom you have this day laid in the dust." ' 

On 11th February 1772 the lands of Drem, in East Lothian, 
were bougfht from the daus^hters of the Hon. John Hamilton 
by John Ferguson of Stronvar. 


The Rev. Finlay Fergusson, A.M., above referred to, was a 
native of Athole. He studied at St. Leonard's College, and 

^ The following anecdote is current in the district. Some eighty years 
ago two sheep-farmers on the Braes had disputed respecting a matter of 
boundary, and each resolved to get the matter settled at law. Both farmers 
went to Dunblane to engage a lawyer, and, curiously enough, each fixed upon 
the same one. The case of the first who waited upon him the lawyer under- 
took ; but he had no sooner done so than the other presented himself to solicit 
his services. He offered him a note of introduction to a brother in the pro- 
fession, and wrote thus : 

* Twa fat sheep frae the Braes o' Balquither ; 
Fleece you the ae sheep, I '11 Heece the ither.' 

With true Scottish caution the Highlander inspected the note before pro- 
ceeding to deliver it, and observing its contents returned home to communi- 
cate them to his neighbour. The diffei-ences were forthwith adjusted with- 
out legal interposition. 


had his degree from the University of St. Andrews, on 6th 
May 1713.^ The Presbytery of Dunkeld Hcensed him as a 
preacher of the Gospel on 28th March 1721. He was called 
to Balquhidder on 25th June, and ordained 16th September 
1724, in succession to the Rev. James Robertson, A.M., trans- 
lated to Luss on 29th October 1723. The Presbytery of Dun- 
blane at this meeting ' appoint their brother, Mr. Archibald 
Napier, to write unto his Grace the Duke of Atholl and 
Collonel Campbell of Funab, acquainting them of the pre- 
misses and showing them that the main thing which moved 
the Presbytery to cause Mr. Robertson's volation from the 
parish of Balquhidder was the grievances laboured under, 
and that they may see to have the same redressed.' At the 
meeting on January 28th, 1724, of the Presbytery of Dun- 
blane the following is recorded : — ' This day was presented 
and read a letter from his Grace the Duke of Atholl, wherein 
he is pleased to show his satisfaction with the Presbytery's 
procedure in transporting Mr. James Robertson, and desires 
they may invite Mr. Finlay Fergusson, probationer in the 
Presbytery of Dunkeld, to preach in their bounds, and par- 
ticularly in the parish of Balquhidder, which the Presbytery 
considering, they have appointed their moderator to return 
answer to his Grace's letter, signifying their complyance with 
his desire, and begging that his Grace may use his interest 
for redressing that grievance which Mr. Robertson lay under, 
and which principally determined the Presbytery to go in to 
his transportation, viz., his neither being able to obtain the 
Decreet of Locality from Mr. Stewart,^ late incumbent there, 
nor payment of his stipend conform thereunto ; and to write 
to the said Mr. Finlay Fergusson, inviting him unto their 
bounds, and that he bring extract of his Licence and other 

^ The Rev, Fergus Fergusson, A.M., minister of Fortingall, obtained his 
degree at St. Andrews in the same year. He left two sons, Finlay and John, 
He was probably related to the minister of Balquhidder. 

- The Rev. Robert Stewart, A.M,, from Blair Atholl, a brother or nephew 
of Patrick Stewart of Ballochan, having supported King James and joined 
his army at Killiecrankie, was summoned before the Privy Council, 15th 
August 1689, to answer the charges laid against him. He did not appear, 
was ordered to be denounced, and deprived of his benefice. He was dis- 
charged from preaching, or exercising any other part of the ministerial func- 
tion within the parish. 


credentials along with him, and desiring him to preach before 
them at their next meeting here this day month.' Mr. Finlay 
Fergusson accordingly appeared before the Presbytery upon 
the 25th February 1724, and preached from ' Gal. 4. 5 verse, 
viz. to redeem them that were under the Law, that we might 
receive the adoption of sons. He also produced a letter 
signed and dated at Mouline the 18th of February 1724 by 
Adam Fergusson, James Stewart, and Alexander Stoddart, 
ministers of the Presbytery of Dunkeld, shewing that they 
had received this Presbytery's letter anent Mr. Finlay Fer- 
gusson, and that they could have no meeting of Presbytery 
where he might ha-ve extract of his Licence and testimonials 
as this Presbytery desire ; and signifying that his behaviour 
in his station has been most agreeable and that his licence 
shall be transmitted at their first meeting ; which was read 
and this note of it ordered to be recorded ; and they appoint 
Mr. Fergusson to preach at Lecropt Sabbath next, and at 
Balquhidder on Sabbath come eight dayes.' Mr. Finlay Fer- 
gusson having supplied Lecropt and Balquhidder, is appointed 
to supply Balquhidder any two Sabbaths he most conveniently 
can. ' The Presbytery this day received a letter from his 
Grace the Duke of Atholl with relation to Mr. Finlay Fer- 
gusson, showing his Grace's inclination to know from the 
presbytery, in a reasonable time, both theirs and the parish 
of Balquhidder's good inclination toward Mr. Fergusson ; 
and promising to cause try if the Decreet of Locality of the 
Stipend of Balquhidder be in Mr. Robert Stewart's hands, and 
to endeavour to get it up by employing some person to speak 
to him thereanent, he being such a person as his Grace does 
not converse with for some years past ; which was read and 
the presbytery resolve to return answer to it in due time.' 

On 15th April 1725 the Presbytery's minute records: — 
' They appoint their moderator to write a letter to his Grace 
the Duke of Atholl acquainting him that the presbytery have 
received a letter from some of the Heritors and elders of the 
parish of Balquhidder, signifying that parish's satisfaction with 
Mr. Finlay Fergusson, probationer, who hath by the appoint- 
ment of this Presbytery for some time been preaching in that 


On 2nd June 1724 the minute runs : — ' This day a letter 
from his Grace the Duke of Atholl ; shewing his satisfaction 
with the people of Balquhidder being well pleased with Mr. 
Fergusson, and that he is acceptable to the Presbytery of 
Dunblane, was laid before the presbytery, likeways showing 
that he leaves it to the presbytery to appoint such a day as 
they shall find expedient for moderating a call to one to 
be minister of Balquhidder, as also a letter from Colonell 
Campbell of Funab to the same purpose, together with a 
petition from the elders of the said parish earnestly in treat- 
ing the presbytery would send one of their number to moder- 
ate in a meeting for electing of and calling one to be their 
minister. In complyance with the desire of the said letters 
and petition, the presbytery have appointed their brother Mr. 
John M'Callum to preach at Balquhidder on Sabbath come 
eight days, and after forenoon's sermon to make intimation 
to Heritors, Elders, and Heads of families of the said parish 
to meet at the church of Balquhidder on Thursday the 25th 
day of June next, in order to elect and subscribe a call to one 
to be minister of the said parish ; as also to moderate in the 
said meeting, and appoints their moderator to write letters 
to all non-residing Heritors and others of the said parish, 
acquainting them of, and desiring their presence at, the said 
meeting, or to signify their mind in the said matter by their 
letters. They appoint Mr. Finlay Fergusson to supply Bal- 
quhidder with preaching as oft as he can betwixt and next 
meeting, and that he preach for Mr. M'Callum the Sabbath 
he preaches at Balquhidder, and appoints their clerk to give 
warrand to Mr. M'Callum for the effect foresaid.' 

On June 30th, 1724, John Buchanan and John Carmichael, 
commissioned from the heritors and elders of the parish of 
Balquhidder, appeared before the Presbytery and reported 
that a meeting of heritors, elders, and heads of families was 
held in the Kirk of Balquhidder on 25th June, and that they 
had unanimously elected and subscribed a call to Mr. Finlay 
Fergusson, probationer for the ministry, to be their minister. 
The said call and the commissions of those appearing were 
laid before the Presbytery. The call was subscribed by eleven 
heritors, twelve elders, and a good many heads of families. 


and attested by Mr. John M'Calliun, moderator to that 
meeting. The call was apjDroved ; Mr. Fergusson was called 
in and his trials appointed. On 25th August 1724 Mr. 
Fergusson delivered his trial discourses, which Avere sustained. 
The edict for his ordination was ordered to be served, and 
he was ordained on 16th September 1724. Mr. Archibald 
Napier, minister at Kilmadock, preached the ordination 
sermon, * and did by solemn prayer and imposition of the 
hands of the presbytery set apart and ordain the said Mr. 
Finlay Fergusson, minister of Balquhidder, gave him the 
right hand of fellowship, and thereafter received him a 
member of this presbytery.' 

These extracts are given as being interesting in themselves, 
and also as they show how patrons, like the Duke of AthoU, 
exercised their rights of presentation one hundred and 
seventy years ago. 

Mr. Fergusson died on 20th February 1772, m the forty- 
eighth year of his ministry. His wife was Henrietta 
Buchanan, by whom he had issue : — Margaret, born 3rd 
March 1729; Henrietta, born 8th May 1736; John, born 

2nd April 1738; , born 15th June 1741; Robert, born 

1st April 1743. This son, Robert, became proprietor of 
Stronvar, and his name appears in the Presbytery books as 
a heritor in the parish. — [Act. Red. Univ. St. And. Presh. 
and Syn. Reg., etc.]. 


Dugald Buchanan, the Gaelic poet, to whose memory a 
fountain was recently erected at Strathyre, through the 
instrumentality of Mr. Robert Fergusson, Stirling, was born 
at Strathyre in 1716. He was a son of John Buchanan and 
Janet Fergusson, who, according to the Parish Register, were 
proclaimed and married on 22nd May 1711. The poet's 
mother belonged to the family of Ardandamh, and a wooden 
cupboard made by himself is now in the possession of the 
Fergussons of Murlaggan. 

Another man of some note in Strathyre was Thomas 
Fergusson, who resided at Tayness. He was in the 75th 


regiment,^ and was present at the battle of Seringapatam, 
the hero of which was Sir David Baird, to whose memory a 
conspicuous monument was erected by his widow in 1832, 
on the top of To')n-a-cliastle (the Castle hill), between Crieft' 
and Comrie. The father of Thomas Fergusson, John, came 
from Atholl along with the Rev. Finlay Fergusson, and 
married a sister of Duncan Fergusson of Carnlia, who came 
to Murlaggan on Loch Voil, and was thus cousin to Rob Mor 
of Murlaggan. At the Disruption Thomas refused to sign 
the Deed of Demission, and took up a strong position of 
opposition to the Free Church party in 1843. His sword is 
still preserved at Murlaggan. One of his , sons entered the 
army and succeeded well, but died early. 


Glancing at the Baptismal Register of the parish of 
Balquhidder ^ we find that a large proportion of the yearly 
baptisms is of the name of Fergusson. This can be shown 
by taking a few instances here and there. In the year 1735 
there were 58 baptisms recorded, and of these 14 were 
Fergussons. A similar number occurs in 1745; and in 1758 
out of 48 baptisms 16 were the children of Fergussons. In 

^ The 75th regiment was ordered to be raised in 1787, the colonelcy of 
which was conferred on Colonel Robert Abercromby of Tullibody, afterwards 
Sir Robert Abercromby of Airthrey. According to a practice then prevail- 
ing, the headquarters of the regiment about to be raised was fixed in the 
neighbourhood of the Colonel's residence. The town of Stirling was thus 
appointed for the embodying of the 75th, where it was regimented in June 
1788, and, being immediately ordered for England, embarked for India. The 
regiment took the field in 1790, under the command of Colonel Hartley, and 
in the two following years formed part of the force under Major-General 
Abercromby on his two marches to Seringapatam. The regiment took part 
in the assault of that capital in 1799, and was subsequently employed in the 
provinces of Malabar, Goa, the Guzzerat, etc., and in 1805 was with General 
Lake's army in the disastrous attacks on Bhurtpore. It was ordered home 
in 1806, and although a Highland regiment, in 1809 there were scarcely a 
hundred men in it born north of the Tay. It is now the 1st Battalion 
Gordon Highlanders. 

2 The baptisms date from 1696 to 1819, and the marriages from 1710 to 
1724. The book is in the General Register House, Edinburgh. The greatest 
number of souls in the parish, so far back as can be traced, was 1592 ; by 
last census (1891) the population was 758. 


1770 there were 12 out of 63; in 1786 there were 16 out of 
47 ; in 1795 there were 13 out of 45 ; and in 1799 there were 
11 out of 32. These figures are a sufficient indication of how 
numerous were the families of the name in this parish during 
the eighteenth century. 

Among the places where these families resided are the 
following, with the derivation and meaning of the words : — 

Achloghine, Ach and Loine^ gen. of Lm, meadow, field of the 

Ardandamh, Ard-an-damh, the height of the stag. 
Auchleskine, Ach-le-sgain (?), field belonging to Scone ; but a 

simpler meaning is from AcJiadh-le-sgaineadh, * the field 

with the cleft,' referring to the large mountain cleft 

behind the house. 
Ardoch, Ard, acJmdh or mhagh, high field. 
Auchtow, Achf dubh, black field. 
Auchra, Auch, rath, field of the fort. It has also been rendered 

' the field at the ford ' ; but the correct meaning is hkely 

' the field by the beach or shore (traigh),' as there is a 

level promontory jutting out into Loch Earn. 
Bailfoil, or Ballyfoil, Baile, phuill, the town of the pool. 
Balinluig, Baile, an, luig, the town of the hollow. 
Balvoir, Baile, mor, big town. 
Balmenoch, Baile, meadhonach, middle town. 
Balchnoik,^ Baile, ciioc, gen. chiwic, the town of the hillock. 
Bra of Ardveich, Braigh, head of the glen, or the height of 

Ardveich; e.g. Braes of Balquhidder in G3ie\ic= Braigh 

Ardveich, Ard, hheithich, birchy height. 
Carnlia, Cam, Hath, the grey cairn. 
Craigruie, Creag, righ, the King's rock. 
Cuilt, Cuil, a nook. In local pronunciation the t is silent. 
Craggan,^ Creagean, the crags. 
Creagan, Creagan, a little crag. 
Castran, Castaran, quarter (of land). 
Criganbeg, Creagean, heag, little crags. 
Corlavrich, Coire, labhrach, the noisy corrie. 
Dalin-laggan,2 Bal, an, lagan, haugh or level plain of the 

» Of Edinchip. ^ Qf Glenbuckie. 


Dalveich, Dal, hheithich, birchy haugh. 

Edinample, Aodann, teampuil, the place of worship on the face 
of the hill. This, however, is a doubtful derivation ; it 
may be from Aodann and phuill, the face of the hill by 
the' pool. 

Gartnafuaren, Gart, fuaran, the enclosure of the sj^rings. 

Glenogle, Gleann, oghuidh, the terrific or awful glen ; or 

Gleann bg, thuille, glen of the young or newly-started 
floods; or it might be high glen {ilchel, Welsh) = ochil. 

Immer-eoin, lomair, eoin, the ridge of birds. 

Immeriach, lomair, Hath, grey or mottled ridge. 

Immervoulin, lomair, mhuileain, mill-ridge. 

Innernenty,^ Inbhir 'ti ahhain, diiihh, confluence of the black 

Ishagearb, Inniseag, earb, little plain of the roe-deer. 

Kyp, Chip, gen. of Ceap^ a last or block ; applied to the top 
of a hill. 

Kirktown, the town beside the church. 

Laggan, Lagan, a hollow. 

Ledcreioch, Leathad, crioch, the slope of the march. 


Lianach (Glenbuckie), Lian, a meadow ; lianach, adj. meadowy. 

Monachylebeg, Monadh, choille, beag, little hill wood. 

Monachylemore, the big hill wood. 

Mainab, Magh, an, ab, field of the abbot. 

Murlaggan, or Muirlaggan, mor, lagan, big hollows. 

Ruskachan,^ riasgach, marshy lands. 

Strathyre, Srath fheoir, grassy strath. 

Stronlany, Sron, leana, the point of the meadow. 

Stronvar, Sron, bhar, the pointed promontory. 

Strone, Sron, the point or promontory. 

Stronyre, Sron, tir or thir, promontory of land. It is pro- 
nounced Mr. 

Tayness, Taobh, an, nis, beside the waterfall. 

Tomnadrochit (Stronvar), Tom, na, drochaid, the hillock of the 

Tullich, tulach, a hillock. 

Tighannock, Tigh, house ; an, ac, of the acts. 

In many of the above places representatives of the old families 
still reside. 

1 Easter. 


Frotn the Exchequer Rolls. 

Ill U80, Colin Fcrgusson was Crown tenant of Stank in Strath- 
gartney (vol. ix.). His name is repeated in M83, 1486, 1487, 
1490, and 1492 (vol. x.). In 1499, Cathrine, relict of Colin, and 
Patrick Fergusson, her son, were Crown (kindly) tenants of Stank 
(vol. xi.). Their names appear again in 1502 (vol. xii.). In 
1510, under Balquhidder, Innertewing is feued to Patrick Fergusson 
(vol. xiii.). 

From Privy Council Registers. 

In 1612, Duncan Fergusson in Strathyre is complained of and 
put to the horn for destroying deer in the Forest of Glenfinlas 
'with hagbuts, bows, and utheris ingynis.' — (P. C. Reg. ix. p. 457.) 

On 14th July 1613 the following Fergussons were fined for 
resetting the clan Gregor:^ — Miirdo Fergusson in Drapan, 
£20 ; Donald Fergusson in Miltown, iiij li. ; Donald Dow 
Fergusson in Lagan, £10 ; Donald Roy Fergusson there, £6 ; 
Fergus Fergusson there, ten inerkis ; Murdo IBayne Fergusson 
in Bayd, £10 ; Duncan Bayne Fergusson there, 80 merkis ; 
Donald Fergusson in Innerecho, 10 merkis ; Alex. Fergusson 
in Innermule, 10 merkis; Robert Fergusson there, £10; 
Johne Fergusson in Anny, 100 merkis ; Finla M'lanes alias 
Fergusson in Tombeg, 20 h.— (P. C. Reg. x.).^ 

Balquhidder has been called the MacGregor country, and 
their possessions were at one time very extensive, reachmg 

1 * As a race they have been distinguished for an indomitable spirit of bold 
independence, for heavy misfortunes, long-continued persecutions, severe 
and grievous wrongs. Warrants to attack, imprison, and slaughter the 
MacGregors were issued as early as 1563. An Act of Parliament of 1603, 
followed by others in 1613, 1617, and 1633, authorised a war of extermination 
against the clan, who had this one great misfortune to lament, that at Court 
they had no one able or willing to stand out in their behalf or to tell their 
side of the story. They had thus to suflfer from the calumnies, the exaggera- 
tions, and the wilful misrepresentations of their enemies. Acts of Privy 
Council, proclamations, and commissions of justiciary were issued from 
time to time against the devoted clan ; and the Privy Council agreed to give 
a specified sum of money for every head of a MacGregor that might be 
brought to Edinburgh in virtue of these bloodthirsty edicts. At the Restora- 
tion, in 1661, the Acts against the MacGregors were repealed, and their 
family name, with other privileges, restored ; but former Acts were reinforced 
by the Revolution Parliament in 1691.'— Q«ee?i'« Visitt p. 169. 

" Also Robert Fergusson in Callender. 


from Tayiiiouth to the head of Glen Lyon, mchiding Glcn- 
dochard and embracing Glenurchay. In the words of John 
Hill Burton: — 'It was not until the year 1775 that the 
opprobrium thrown on the name of MacGregor was removed 
by an Act of the British Parliament. Since that day the 
once dreaded name has been sounded with respect at drawing- 
room doors, in levees, in bank parlours, and on the hustings. 
It has fallen to the lot of many eminent and worthy men ; 
and, singularly enough, the only Highland clan which strives 
to keep its ancient ties, and assemble together in a body, is 
that same clan Gregor, to whom it was prohibited to convene 
in numbers exceeding four at a time.' 


The old Gaelic Pulpit Bible of Balquhidder, in Irish 
characters, which was presented to the parish in 1685 by the 
Hon. Robert Boyle, came into the possession of the Rev. 
Samuel Fergusson, minister of Fortingall, and is now in the 
keeping of his son, the minister of Logic. Regarding this 
volume. Professor Mackinnon, of the Celtic Chair in the 
University of Edinburgh, writes : — ' The Irish N. T. was 
published in 1603, and thereafter in 1681. Bedell's O. T. was 
published in 1685 and copies of it sent to the Highland 
Parishes by the Hon. Robert Boyle, with suitable inscriptions. 
It is a good bulky 4to in Irish characters, and contains the 
O. T. alone. The Rev. Robert Kirk, minister of Balquhidder, 
published in 1690, in small 8vo, the Irish translations of both 
0. T. and N. T., but in Roman alphabet with contractions 
extended, and a small vocabulary appended. It would be 
interesting if the copy you possess was the Balquhidder copy 
of Bedell, as it would have been the copy used by Kirk. 
These Bibles were presented to the ministers of the parishes 
" and their successors in office." ' 

There is no doubt that this is the copy of Bedell used for 
generations in Balquhidder parish church. At the end of 
the Book, on the last page, there is written in the clear quaint 
hand of the period the inscription, ' The Church Bible of 
Balquidder, 1688.' At the end of the Book of Exodus, p. 128, 
is the following: 'Presented to Samuel Fergusson by Miss 


Janet Fergusson of Corlarach, Balqiihidder, on this the 23rd 
day of August 1847.' There is also another inscription at 
the end of the Book of Haggai, on p. 1126, which says that 
' Janet Fergusson, Corlarach of Stronvar, is the right owner of 
this Book/ How this Bible came into Miss Janet Fergusson's 
possession I have not yet been able to discover. 

It is doubtful whether, as Professor Mackinnon says, Mr. 
Robert Kirk used the Bible when minister of Balquhidder, as 
he was translated to Aberfoyle in 1685. Mr. Kirk wrote also 
the famous Secret Goininomvenltli of Elves, Fauns, and 
Fairies, published in 1691, reprinted in 1815, and re-issued 
under the editorship of Mr. Andrew Lang in 1893. His first 
wife, Isabel, daughter of Sir Colin Campbell of Mochester 
(no^^ Lawers), died in December 1680, and is buried in Bal- 
quhidder churchyard. Mr. Kirk cut out with his own hand 
on a fl'at gravestone the following epitaph to her memory : — 


Spouse to Mr. Kirk, Minister. 

DIED DEC. 25, 1680. 

She HAD TWO Sons, Colin and William 

HER age 25. 

Stones weep tho' eyes were dry : 
Choicest flowers soonest die. 
Their sun oft sets at noon, 
Whose fruit is ripe in June. 
Then tears of joy be thine, 
Since earth must soon resign 
To God what is divine. 

Nasci est aegrotare. Vivere est saepe mori. 
Et mori est vivere. Love and live. 

The church bell, which still hangs in the belfry of the ruins 
of the old church, bears the following inscription on it : — 

M. Robert Kirk, for Balqvidder Chvrch, 1G84. 
Love and Live. Live and Love. 


At the meeting of Synod held at Dunblane on the 14th 
October 1(568, during Robert Lcighton's bishopric, an entry 
in the minute of that day reads, 'Duncane Fergisone in 


Balquhiddar, ane poor man, was referred to the charity of 
the severall ministers within the Diocese for supplie.' 

At the meeting of Synod held on 14th April 1669, another 
entry declares : ' Itt is ordained that noe indigent persone 
within the boundes of the Synod be referred to the Synod 
for supplie without consent of the Presbyterie within which 
the persone duelles.' This appears to affect general cases, 
and may not have any reference to the above case. 

The Synod of 30th September 1673, when Bishop Ramsay 
succeeded Leighton, has a reference from the Presbytery 
Book of Dunblane in connection with ' Duncan Fergison in 
Balquidar, lyeing under the horrid scandall of adulterie.' 
' So as all citaciounes and admoniciounes being slighted be 
him, and he wanteing nothing but the sentence of excom- 
municacioun from God's people to be denunced, theirfore the 
Bishop and Synod ordaines faire means to be used for 
reclaimeing the foresaid delinquent, and to desyre him, for 
the favour of God and the good of his owne soule, to com 
before the Presbyterie of Dunblaine at their nixt dyet ; and 
then, if there he confess the fact, or doe according to the 
Presbyteries ordinance, that he shal be admitted unto publiq 
repentance ; and if he obey not, the dreadfuU sentence to be 
denunced against him.' 

At the Synod meeting of 14th April 1674, ' The Bishope 
did enquyre at Mr. Robert Kirk, minister at Balquhidar, 
what he had done anent Duncane Fergison, adulterer in that 
paroch, againes whom the sentence of excommunicacioune 
was to be denunced. The minister declared that he had not 
as yet put the sentence in execucioun, but was dealling with 
him to bring him to repentance, who now hes promised 
either to acknowledge the guilt or to clear himselfe by oath 
verie shortly, — which if he does, the processe ceases ; and if 
not, that the Act of the former Synod take effect.' 

In Dr. Scott's Fasti, it is stated that Alexander Fargie, or 
Fergusone, was minister of Logic in 1567, having Clack- 
mannan also in charge, with j'' li. (£8, 6s. 8d.) of stipend. He 
removed from Logic and was presented to Kilmadock by 
James vi. on 30th November 1571. In 1574 Kincardine, 
Lecrope, and Logie were also in the charge, with v'^'^'xvj li. 


V. s. vjfd. (£9, 13s. 9hd.) of stipend. He was a member of 
Assembly, April 1581, and one of the three nominated by the 
Privy Council, Gth March 1589, for the maintenance of true 
religion in the Stewartries of Stratherne and Menteith, with 
the Diocie of Dunblane. He removed to Logic again about 
that time, 1590, and continued until 7th March 1591, but died 
in 1592. — (Reg. Min. and Assig., Presh. Reg. Wodrow Miscell. 
Boohe of the Kirk. Evid. on Ck. Patronage. New Stat. Ace.) 
John Fergusson, a native of Cowal, studied divinity at the 
University of Glasgow, was called to be minister of the parish 
of Port of Menteith, 24th and 25th August 1725, and was 
ordained 27th July 1726. He died, 2nd October 1768, in the 
forty-third year of his ministry. He was proprietor of the 
estate of Craigholl.^ — (Presh., Syn., and Test. Reg. (Dun- 
blane). Mun. Univ. Glasg. iii. New Stat. Ace. x.) 


Mr. Malcolm Ferguson was born at Morenish, on Loch Tay 
near the village of Killin. His parents, though of humble 
station, were highly respected and esteemed for their con- 
sistent and exemplary lives. Although compelled, through 
no fault of their own, to remove from their native homestead 
and quit dear Breadalbane, they enjoined their children to 
lay their remains beside their kith and kin in the churchyard 
of Killin. Young Malcolm received his education first at 
Morenish and afterwards at the parish school of Killin. For 
some time after leaving school he acted as tutor to the 
young family of the late Mr. Ferachar MacKerachar, at 
Benmore, Glendochart. On coming to Glasgow Mr. Ferguson 
entered the service of Messrs. John Brown and Co., then the 
largest public storekeepers in the city. For many years he 
occupied the position of head storekeeper, and by and by set 
up in business for himself. In 1855 he formed the well- 
known and respected firm of Messrs. Malcolm Ferguson and 
Co., Glasgow. 

1 At this time Gaelic was the common language of the parishioners of Port, 
and they made application to the Earl of Buchan, then proprietor of the 
estate of Cardross, and patron of the parish, wlio, acceding to their wishes, 
appointed the Kev. John Fergusson. 


His first attempt at authorship was A Tour through 
Orcadia and the North of Scotland (1868), the result of a 
trip made that year to the Orkney Islands. This book has 
been followed by a number of other works of more than local 
interest. In 1869 his Tour through the Highlands of Perth- 
shire appeared. His next volume, Rambles in Shye, was 
issued in 1883, followed two years later by the Tourist's Guide 
to Killin, Loch Tag, and the Land of famed Breadalhane. 
In 1886 Rambles in North Knapdale was the fruit of some 
fishing experiences. His other books are an excellent Tourist 
Guide to Callander, the Trossachs, etc., Rambles in Bread- 
albane, Fishing Incidents and Adventures, and a Tr?^) to 
Staffa and lona. In all his books Mr. Ferguson shows a 
keen appreciation of the humorous side of things, and writes 
in a style which is both interesting and instructive. ' The 
author possesses,' says a writer in the Celtic Monthly, ' not 
only an observant eye for the beauties of nature, and the 
abihty to convey his impressions to his readers, but he has 
also the faculty of being able to seize and depict the pecu- 
liarities of characters with whom he comes in contact in his 
wanderings. He can tell a capital story, and, what is not 
common, can narrate it with the greatest gusto when it tells 
against himself.' 

Mr. Malcolm Ferguson is a thorough Highlander, and 
devoted to everything Celtic. Through his instrumentality 
a donation of £500 was obtained for the Glasgow Perthshire 
Charitable Society, from the estate of a cousin who had left 
a considerable sum for such purposes. The erection of the 
Jubilee Cairn on the summit of Ben Ledi was the work of 
this gentleman, and through his means a cairn was erected 
some time before upon the top of Ben Lawers. He now 
resides at the charming village of Callander, and signified 
his interest in that place by recently presenting a handsome 
town clock, which finds an appropriate home in the spire of 
the parish church. 

Eastwards along the shores of Loch Earn to the village of 
Comrie, and north^vards to Killin, many old families of the 
name can be traced. These undoubtedly were closely con- 


nected with the Fergussons of Balquhidder, as the old 
marriage and baptismal registers can still testify. The farm 
of Derrie, on the north shore of Loch Earn, belonged at one 
time to a family of the name, from which the late Rev. John 
Fergusson of Monzievaird was descended. Among the places 
identified during the last three centuries with the name of 
Fergusson, in the parish of Comrie, are the following : — 

Aberuchil, Abei' ruaclh thuil, the confluence of the red flood. 

Ardtrostan, the abode of Drostan. 

Ardveich, Ard hheith, the height of the birch. 

Auchnashealach, Achadh seileach, the field of the willows. 

Blairchonzie, Blar caoin^ the plain of weeping. 

Carstown, the town of the level. 

Comrie, Comh-ruith, confluence. 

Cuilt, Coilltej the woods. 



Dalchruine, Dal Cruinn, the round haugh. 

Dalraunich, Dal raineach, the ferny haugh. 

Derrie, Doire, the oak coppice. 

Drumchosh, Druim skuas (hosh)^ the upper ridge. 

Dundurn, Dun duirn (dorii, gen. durn), the fort of the fist-shaped 

Glenai-tney, Gleann ard'n fheidh, the glen of the heights of the 


Laggan, Lag-aUj a hollow. 
Maillor, Meall odhar, the dun height. 
Maillermorc, the big dun hill. 
Portmore, the big port. 
Tullibanachar, Tulach beinn chir, the hillock of the crested hill. 


The Rev. Samuel Fergusson, author of the Qiieens Visit 
and oilier Poems, was born at Dalchonzie, near Comrie, on 
the 2nd of January 1(S2(S. His father, Duncan, was the son 
of Donald Fergusson of Carnlia on Lochearn, and descended 
from the ancient families of Ardandamh and Inunervoulin on 
Loch Lubnaig side in ]3alquhidder. Early destined by his 

feeCtUSSOns m balquhidder 233 

parents to ' wag his pow in a poopit/ he was educated at the 
University of St. Andrews, numbering amongst his college 
friends the Rev. Dr. MacGregor of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, 
the Rev. Dr. Gray of Liber ton, the Rev. Dr. Duke of St. 
Vigeans, and others who have come to the front since then. 
Licensed as a probationer of the Church of Scotland by the 
famous Presbytery of Auchterarder in 1854, he acted as assis- 
tant in the parish of Dull, and as Royal Bounty missionary 
at Strathloch, in the parish of Moulin. In 1857 he was pre- 
sented by Sir Robert Menzies, Bart., to the parish of For tin- 
gall, where he laboured with much energy and acceptance 
until the year 1865, when, his health breaking down, he 
retired in favour of an assistant and successor, and went on a 
voyage round the world in the hope of procuring restored 
energy. While a member of the Presbytery of Weem he 
acted in the capacity of clerk to the Presbytery. On the 
voyage home he was a passenger in the ill-fated steamship 
London, which, the very next time she sailed from the port 
of London, foundered in the Bay of Biscay, and went down 
with two hundred and twenty souls aboard. The heroic con- 
duct of the captain, crew, and passengers is commemorated 
in one of his poems. The Queen's Visit was published in 
1869, and on the evening of the day of its issue, the 27th of 
September, its author, mistaking his way in the dark and 
boisterous night, walked into the Tay near Perth harbour, 
and was drowned. He left behind him a widow and live 
sons, the eldest of whom, a distinguished medical student, 
was drowned while bathing in Loch Yoil, Balquhidder, in 
July 1876. 

The Rev. Samuel Fergusson was well known as a ripe 
Celtic scholar, and wrote Gaelic poetry much superior to his 
English verse. He was a member on the Committee on the 
Revision of the Gaelic Scriptures, and Avrote an account of 
Dugald Buchanan and his poetry, which has never been 
published. Many of his Gaelic poems were published separ- 
ately, but none of them in book form. Shortly before his 
death he had begun a History of Perthshire, having been 
advised thereto by his friend the late Very Rev. Principal 
Tulloch and others. The historical notes appended to the 


six cantos of his principal poem, The Queens Visit, are of 
great value, and show accurate scholarship and intimate 
acquaintance with the local history of the places brought 
under review. He was an ardent Highlander, and while a 
student at St. Andrews conducted a public class of Celtic 
literature, which was well attended by a large number of the 
students. In recognition of his efforts the Celtic Society 
of the University presented him with Tlte HighhtTid Society 
of Scotland's Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, in two 
volumes, a writing-desk, Cruden's Concordance, and other 
works, on the 21st March 1854. 

The Rev. Samuel Fergusson was married to Miss Margaret 
Anderson, daughter of Henry Anderson of Burnside, Stanley, 
11th July 1855, and had issue : — 

1. Duncan, born 24th May 1856, died July 1876. 

2. Henry Anderson, born 3rd August 1857, died 7 th 

August 1858. 

3. Robert Menzies, born 12th April 1859. 

4. David Anderson, born 20th July 1860, died 23rd June 


5. Janet Amelia, born 2nd August 1862, died 6th Septem- 

ber 1864. 

6. Henry Charles, born 10th March 1864, M.R.C.V.S., 1884. 

7. Samuel, born 27th October 1865 ; graduated, Edin. M.B., 

CM., July 1889. 

8. Donald, born 22nd March 1870 ; graduated, Edin. M.A., 

1891 ; licensed Preacher of the Gospel, May 1894. 
The Rev. R. Menzies Fergusson, graduated (Edin.) M.A. 
1881, licensed May 1884, ordained at Logic 2nd April 1885, 
married Isabella Fergusson, daughter of John Haggart, 
Stanley, 13th January 1886. 


Mr. Robert Fergusson, Douglas Street, Stirling, the well- 
known poet and patriot, died on Sunday morning, 10th Feb- 
ruary 1895, after a sharp attack of pleurisy, at the age of 
seventy-six. Mr. Fergusson came to Stirling in the early 
* Forties,' and laboured at his profession as a teacher with 


much success, several prominent public men in Stirling at 
the present day having been his pupils. 

The following sketch of his life, from the pen of the Rev. 
R. Menzies Fergusson, M.A., of Logic, appeared in the Celtic 
MontJdy for November 1893 : — 

' Robert Fergusson, now of Stirling, was born in 1819, at 
East Stronvar, Balquhidder. He is what would be considered 
an old man; yet though his locks are white his heart is 
young, and his nature buoyant and simple as that of a youth. 
Age cannot wither nor custom stale the infinite variety of his 
ways for promoting things Highland. A poet, he loves the 
music of the Gael, and learned early to sympathise with 
nature, as he roamed amid the hills and beside the mountain 
torrents of his native glen. The parish school — at that time 
close to the churchyard — received him as a faithful scholar, 
quick to learn, and well acquainted with the Gaelic tongue, 
which was taught him by his father. In the competition in 
that language in 1884 he gained the first prize. His educa- 
tion was continued in Stirling, the grey " City of the Rock," 
and in 1856-7-8 he passed through the Free Church Training 
College in Edinburgh. His profession of a schoolmaster was, 
however, begun at Dalveich, Lochearnside, in 1836, where Mr. 
Fergusson had the honour of having two future poets as his 
pupils— the late Rev. Samuel Fergusson of Fortingall, author 
of The Queens Visit and other Poems, and Mr. Donald 
M'Laren, Ardveich, whose songs and poems are all in Gaelic. 
For some time Mr. Fergusson taught the school of Strathyre, 
hallowed with memories of Dugald Buchanan, the Cowper of 
the Highlands, whose Spiritual Songs are well known to all 
lovers of Gaelic poetry, and in whose memory the subject of 
our sketch was instrumental in raising a memorial fountain, 
which has its site near to the raihvay station. From 1842 to 
1846 he was a teacher in Stirling, and in the neighbourhood 
of Dunfermline from 1846 to 1856, where his love for song 
and poetry was greatly fostered through intercourse with 
D. K. Coutts, his then school assistant, and afterwards master 
of Dr. Bell's School, Leith. In this school he was again 
favoured with another poet in one of his pupils — Mr. J. 
Millar, now of London, author of Zigzag and My Lawyer, 


etc. From 1858 to 1868 Mr. Fergusson acted as a teacher in 
a mission school connected with the Free Church, near For- 
doim Station. During this time he occasionally acted as 
local preacher, and officiated in almost all the Free Church 
pulpits within the Presbytery. The close of Mr. Fergusson's 
active career as a schoolmaster was spent in the little village 
of Raploch, which nestles under the steep gi-ey crags of Stir- 
ling Castle. He has now retired, and having celebrated his 
jubilee, is well entitled to do so. His time is chiefly occu- 
pied in doing what he can to further the cause of Celtic 
literature and the continuation of the Gaelic language. As 
an ex-president of the Stirling Highlanders' Society, he has 
no small influence in fostering Celtic sentiment, and the Clan 
Fergusson Society has in him one of its original promoters. 
" His poetical productions," says Mr. Edwards, in his Modern 
Scottish Poets, " possess a remarkable roundness and com- 
pleteness of thought, and while graceful in their simplicity, 
and set in smooth and musical words, they ever manifest 
buoyancy and spontaneity of flow, and occasionally quiet 
pathos." ' 

Mr. Fergusson was interred amongst kindred dust in the 
picturesque churchyard "of Balquhidder, where representatives 
of all classes paid their last tokens of respect to one who was 
widely known and sincerely loved for his genial character, 
patriotic sentiments, and truly Christian spirit. 


For many centuries representatives of the name and clan 
have found a home in the county of Argyll. Very probably 
the early progenitors of the present race first crossed the 
West Highlands on their way from the north of Ireland, 
whence the old Scots came, and some of them settled there. 
It is no easy matter to trace their early history. In the Cowal 
district there were many old families of the name, and in the 
churchyard of Strachur is to be found a little tombstone, on 
the back of which is cut in relief a well-executed representa- 
tion of ' the arms of the Hon. Fergussons of Kilcarran.' The 
stone bears the date 1774, and is in good preservation. The 


arms, crest, and motto, as there represented, are the same as 
those of Sh James Fergusson, Bart., of Kilkerran, Ayrshh-e. 
In all likelihood the original Fergussons of Kilkerran came 
from Argyllshire, as the name of their Ayrshire estate is the 
Gaelic form of Campbeltown. St. Ciaran, one of the ' Twelve 
Apostles of Ireland,' landed in the sixth century at Dalrua- 
dhain, and spent much time in a cave, still known as Cove-a- 
Gliiaran. After this the name of the place was changed to 
Ghille-a-Ghiaran^ or, in modernised form, Kilkerran. It passed 
into the possession of the MacDonalds, who called the town 
Kinlochkerran, and latterly of the Campbells, by whom the 
present name of Campbeltown was bestowed. 



The name, though not numerous in the county, has long been 
rooted in Aberdeenshire. Tradition carries back the connec- 
tion of the family now represented by the Fergusons of Kin- 
mundy and Pitfour with Inverurie to the time of King Robert 
the Bruce. His son, King David, confirmed a charter of the 
lands of Auchtererne, in Cromar, granted by Thomas, Earl of 
Mar, in 1364, ' Egoni filio Fergiisii,' who with his descen- 
dants, according to Dr. Joseph Robertson, ' possessed the 
estate of Auchtererne (Watererne) in Cromar, from the reign 
of David ii. to that of James v., when it would seem they 
(as proprietors) became extinct.' The estate was in 1506-7 
apparently divided between the husbands of the last owner's 
daughters, but a tradition, preserved in a little volume 
entitled Deeside Tales, published in 1872, ' has it that the 
last proprietor was the father (?) of the Rev. Mr. Fergusson 
of Crathie,' who was minister of that parish in the earlier 
half of the seventeenth century, and whose daughter, Agnes 
Fergusson, married James Farquh arson of Inverey, and 
became the ancestress of the Farquharsons of Auchindryne 
and Tullochcoy. It has also been suggested that this Rev. 
Mr. Fergusson was an ancestor of Robert Fergusson the poet, 
but there appears to be no possibility of definitely establishing 
this. The poet was the son of a William Fergusson, book- 
keeper in Edinburgh, to which city he had emigrated about 
the year 1746 from Aberdeen, having removed to Aberdeen 
from Cromar, which was his native place, in that or the 
previous year. The poet's mother was Elizabeth, daughter 
of John Forbes, tacksman of Templeton, Hillockhead, and 


Wellhead, a cadet of the family. of Tolquhon, and as a boy he 
was frequently told by his parents that his great-grandfather 
by the father's side had been a clergyman of the Church of 
Scotland. It is thus not hnprobable that he was a descendant 
of the earlier Fergusson, minister of Crathie. 

In 1700 Mr. Adam Fergusson, afterwards of Logierait, was 
settled at Crathie, where he remained to 1714, and the memory 
of his friendship with the Laird of Invercauld is preserved in 
a bursary which has long ' afforded much valuable assistance, 
both in maintenance and education, to deserving lads of the 
name of Farquharson, Ferguson, or M'Donald.' 

In the latter half of the seventeenth century a John 
Ferguson was minister of Glenmuick, Glengairn, and Tullich. 
He left descendants, a notice of whom will be found in the 
following pages.^ 

The Records of Aberdeen contain references to a burgess 
family or families of the name, one of whom purchased in 
1600 the lands of Kirkhill, in the northern part of Kin- 

James Ferguson, the famous astronomer, was the son of a 
cottar near Keith, in Banffshire ; and Donald Ferguson, a 
famous piper from Corgarflf, in Mar, was a cheerful volunteer 
in the Jacobite army in 1745. When a party of the Govern- 
ment troops were made prisoners at Keith, Donald was 
thrown in the skirmish off the bridge into the Isla, but kept 
blowing with vigour, and his inflated bag sustained him till 
he was rescued. He used afterwards to say that so long as 
he could blow up his muckle pipes he should neither die nor 


The most widely spread family of the name in Aberdeen- 
shire was the one which is first to be traced in the Garioch, 
and of which the surviving branches are still located in 
Buchan. It is in the middle of the seventeenth century that 
the family of Badifurrow, from which came those of Pitfour, 

1 See pp. 292-94. 


Kinmundy, and others, is first recorded as acquiring landed 
estates of substantial extent, and its members can be indi- 
vidually identified. But tradition, confidently held in various 
branches of the family, and supported by the public records 
of the Royal Burgh of Inverurie, asserts that they had con- 
tinuously possessed a considerable and apparently the largest 
holding of land within the limits of that burgh for a previous 
period of time which runs back to the era of the War of 
Independence, and associates this Aberdeenshire family, who 
at one time used the names Fergus or Ferguson indiscrimi- 
nately, with the fortunes of King Robert i., as similar 
traditions do other Fergusons in the centre and south 
of Scotland. In the eighteenth century the descendants of 
William Ferguson of Badifurrow, who was member for 
Inverurie in the Scottish Restoration Parliament, were 
numerous in seven different lines. All these lines, except 
two (Kinmundy and Pitfour), are now believed to be extinct 
in the male line, though male descendants of his youngest 
son, Walter, may still exist in Poland and in Ireland. Mr. 
George Ferguson, Lumphart, and the Rev. John Ferguson, 
Dean of Moray, are also understood to be descendants of the 
Inverurie family, though apparently not of the Laird of Badi- 
furrow who sat in the Restoration Parliament. 

The MS. account of these families, which forms the back- 
bone of the following notes, is printed from a MS. in the 
possession of AVilliam Ferguson, Esq. of Kinmundy. It is 
attributed to Thomas Ferguson, W.S. (1768-1828), second son 
of James Ferguson of Kinmundy and Elizabeth Urquhart, 
and from internal evidence must have been written about the 
year 1820. There is at Kinmundy another copy of the same 
narrative in the hand of Thomas Ferguson's son, James 
Ferguson (Aberdeen, now represented by his son, James 
William Ferguson, 3rd Dragoon Guards), which contains a 
little additional information of later date. There is also at 
Kinmundy another ms. of a similar character, which, though 
in many respects imperfect as compared with the Ms. of 
1820, of which it forms the basis, afibrds a little information 
not embodied in it. It is clearly of much earlier date, and 
appears to have been written about 1760. A fourth ms., 

(I 2) 

(I 6i 


substantially the same as that of 1820 with the later addi- 
tions, though occasionally differing in verbal expression, is in 
the possession of the Reverend Canon Bruce, Dunimarle, 
Culross, great-grandson of Captain William Ferguson, R.N., 
grandson of Janet, daughter of William Ferguson of Badi- 
furrow. Other copies substantially the same are also in 
existence. The Kinmundy MS. of 1820 has been collated with 
the others, and where they afford additional information 
of interest it has been inserted in ( ) parentheses. Explana- 
tory and additional information from other sources has been 
denoted by [ ] brackets. It is believed that fuller information 
as to the earlier history of the family would have been avail- 
able if the house of Kinmundy had not been plundered in 
1745, and if the Pitfour papers had not been destroyed by 
fire in 1820, when a large number of valuable mss. perished. 
In the old churchyard of St. Polnar'si Chapel, on the 
banks of the Don above Inverurie, and below Badifurrow, are 
three or four stones with letters and dates supposed to record 
members of the Ferguson family : — 

W.F : AF 1662 : E.F. 1662 : P.F. 1666 

The old church of Deer, one of the oldest ecclesiastical 
ruins in the north, has since early in last century been a 
place of sepulture for the Fergusons of Pitfour and Kin- 
mundy who succeeded the Keiths (Earls Marischal), whose 
' isle ' it had previously been. The remains of the church 
itself, with the niche for the holy water, the piscina, and the 
niche for the sacred elements still in perfect preservation in 
the grey granite, form the Kinmundy burying-place, that 
family having been the owners of the land on which the 
kirk and village are built when they first had occasion to 
use it. Outside, on the north, is a stone let into the 
wall with the Keith coronet and arms, and the words, 
' Georgius Comes Mariscallus Bominus Keitheus Altreus 
et Patronus.' On the south side is a granite stone with the 
Ferguson of Kinmundy arms impaling those of Deans, 
which must date prior to 1751. There has recently been 

^ i.e. St. Apollinaris. 


placed inside, against a bare piece of wall, a grey granite slab 
with the family arms and the inscription : — 



OF Balmakelly 


D. 1705. B. IN ST. John's cathedral, bois-le-duc 


JAMES FERGUSON of Balmakelly and Kinmundy 

. OF 








JAMES FERGUSON, Yr. of Kinmundy 


others of their family "who rest here. 

Erected by William Ferguson of Kinmundy 


In what appears to be a later annexe built on to the remains 
of the church, is a little enclosure with an iron railing, and 
the date 1731, in which are stones with inscriptions to. the 
memory of James Ferguson, first Laird of Pitfour, and his 
wife, Ann Stuart of Crichie. Lord Pitfour and his sons were 
buried in a family vault in the Greyfriars Churchyard, Edin- 
burgh, Avhich bears the inscription, ' Jacobus Ferguson de 
Pitfour sibi, conjugi, posterisqiie fecit, a.d. 1775.' Admiral 
Ferguson erected a mausoleum amid the ruins of the Abbey 
of Deer, within the grounds of Pitfour. Tradition records 
that when the first stone church was being built in Deer 


to succeed the less solid erections of St. Columba and St. 
Drostan, another site was chosen, but the builders each 
morning found their previous day's Avork undone, till at last 
a supernatural voice was heard to repeat — 

' It is not here, it is not here 

That ye sail big the kirk o' Deer, 
But on Tap Tillerie, 

Where mony a corjJ sail eftir lye.' 


The Kiiimundy MS. {collated with others). 

The origin of the Fergusons of Inverury is now altogether 
unknown, though it appears by the public records they had 
been the principal people in that town and neighbourhood 
for several hundred j^ears. Their name was not originally 
Ferguson, but Fergus, and continued so till about a century 
and a half ago, when they adopted the name of Ferguson, 
from an opinion, perhaps, that it was more significant. 

The first of the name now remembered, or whose descen- 
dants can be traced, was one 

1. William Fergus or Ferguson, who lived at Crichie, near 

[Sources of information not accessible to the writer of the 
MS. indicate that this William Ferguson was the son and 
heir of another of the same name. In his 3Ieinorialls of the 
Truhles, Spalding records that when the Marquis of Huntly 
mustered the northern cavaliers and hoisted the Royal Stan- 
dard at Inverurie, on 11th April 1644, he stayed ' in umquhil 
William Fergus his hous.' A week later he was there again 
staying in Bailie William Ferguson's house. In 1619 William 
Ferguson had been censured for adding to and building out 
his house ' farder nor the rest of the toune, contrar to the law of 
burrows, and lykewise for disobeying of the bailzies command, 
being inhibit.' On 6th June 1608 ' Wm. Fergus, ane horseman 
sufiicientlie in arms conform to the proclamation,' was one of 
the few mounted men present at a wapinschaw, and the name 
occurs throughout the early Records of Inverurie. Many years 
afterwards, upon the occasion of a visit to Edinburgh of a 


descendant in the third generation of a grandson of WiUiam 
Ferguson who had settled in Poland, a curious document was 
prepared by James Gumming, a member of the Society of 
Antiquaries, and an official in the Lyon Office, which bore to 
be founded upon ' certain undoubted and assured writings 
and instruments.' It exhibits a curious mixture of correct 
statement and error as regarded later generations, but con- 
tains the following passage : — 

' That a very ancient Family name among the Scots from 
Fergus, and which it was the custom anciently to write 
Fergus, was lengthened about the beginning of the former 
age into Ferguson. By the same documents it appears that 
there was a very noble chief of this name of a family in 
the northern part of the Barony of Crichie in Aberdeenshire, 
which Walter of Crichie received hospitably in his own house 
the great avenger of his country. King Robert Bruce, setting 
out into that part of the kingdom to curb the rebels, and 
with his three sons and dependants in the memorable battle 
of Inverurie in the year 1308 afforded ready and manly aid : on 
account of which distinguished assistance King Robert gave 
him ample possessions of the adjacent lands of Inverurie : 
which lands have hitherto been perpetual, and are now also 
held by the chief. From the above-mentioned Walter, baron 
of Crichie, by eight paternal descents, was sprung the noble 
William Ferguson, himself also a baron of Crichie, who 
flourished with military reputation in the seventeenth century, 
nor with less devotion toward the King, as Colonel of a 
squadron of horse, did he stand in battle for King Charles i. 
against the impious and rebellious citizens in 1648.' The 
statement is clearly embellished, and there is evident exag- 
geration in the reputation attributed to the William Ferguson 
who lived * in Crichie 'in 1645 and 1655, became Laird of 
Badifurrow in the latter year, and was also the owner of a 
house and considerable holding of land within the extensive 
limits of the Royal Burgh of Inverurie, which according to 
family tradition — uncontradicted, and largely corroborated by 
the local records — had then been in the possession of his 
family for over three hundred years. But as he had received 
Lord Huntly in 1644, and there is a tradition that he also 

FERausoNS m Aberdeenshire 245 

acted as host to the Marquis of Montrose, it is very pro- 
bable that he was engaged on the Cavalier side in the Civil 
War. He is found at the Restoration the representative of 
Inverurie in the Scottish Parliament, signing as such an 
address to King Charles ii., and is recorded as one of those 
who took part in the ceremony when the remains of the 
Marquis of Montrose and Sir Wm. Hay of Dalgety were 
exhumed and re-buried in the Church of St. Giles. There is 
a tradition that one of the family had fought at Harlaw in 
1411, and it is undoubtedly the fact that immediately before 
the battle of Inverury King Robert was lying sick at Crichie, 
where his camp is pointed out, or on the haugh of Ardtannies 
immediately adjacent thereto, among the vassals and followers 
resident on his own Garioch estates. 

On 12th April 1655 a charter was granted to William Fer- 
guson in Crichie of the town and. lands of Badifurro, with the 
manor-place, etc., the salmon-fishing in the water of Don, and 
the lands of Woodhill, both sunny and shadow. The fee of 
this estate at all events he very soon settled upon his second 
son, William. Wilham Ferguson, the M.P. of 1661 and 1663, 
seems to have survived till 1699, when his grandson, James, 
obtained letters charging his uncle, Robert, to enter heir to 
his deceased father. He had three brothers, Robert, John, 
who lived for some time at Stonehaven and afterwards settled 
in Poland, and James, who was a notary, and Town Clerk of 
Inverurie from 1645 to 1673.] 

He [i.e. William Ferguson, proceeds the Ms.] was married 
to Janet Black (Clerk), by whom he had six sons — 

II. Robert, William, James, George, John, and Walter, and 
one daughter, Janet. From these seven proceed a numerous 
race of Fergusons, of whom we shall now endeavour to give 
some account, placing conspicuously and beginning with 

I. Robert, the eldest son. He, after receiving a liberal edu- 
cation, went to Enofland, and about the Restoration Avas created 
a Bishop. By his intermeddling with public affairs and acting 
under the cloud, he got the appellation of Robert the Plotter. 
He was married in England, and had two daughters, but it is un- 
certain to whom he was married or what became of his issue. 


[The MS. is of course erroneous in making the Plotter a 
Bishop. At the Restoration he held the living of Godmars- 
ham in Kent, and perhaps the imaginary mitre is to be 
accounted for by a story that if the Duke of Monmouth had 
become king, he was to have been Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. He was the author of three able theological works, was 
for some time assistant to Dr. John Owen, the famous Non- 
conformist divine, and was the intimate associate of ' the 
false Ahitophel ' ; indeed, ' Shaftesbury died in Ferguson's 
arms in Holland.' One of the most prolific and vigorous 
political writers of his time, he was the author of ^several 
pamphlets that actively affected events, and of two that rank 
in the forefront of political writing in their influence on the 
making of histor}-, for one launched the Duke of Monmouth's 
claim to the inheritance of the Crown, and the other em- 
broiled Dutch William and the Scots Estates. The discovery 
of his own Record ' concerning the Rye Plot ' among the 
State papers has solved some mysteries, and established that 
his management of the nine ruthless spirits saved the Whig 
party from the stain of a great crime. He Avas the closest 
adviser of the unfortunate 'Protestant Duke,' and the draughts- 
man of his ' Declaration.' Returning from exile with William 
of Oranofe, he soon became dissatisfied with the results of the 
'glorious revolution,' and his later years were passed as a 
High Churchman and Jacobite, in confidential correspondence 
Avith the exiled monarch at St. Germain, and gifted with a 
special faculty for showing up Whig ministers for the despotic 
abuse of power. In the quaint words of a contemporary — 
' He was commonly reckoned a man by himself, and of as odd 
a make and mixture as this age has produced. A true history 
of his life would have disclosed a great many secrets. For a 
full account of the extraordinary career of ' the Judas of 
Dryden's great satire,' with its hairbreadth escapes, its untir- 
ing energy, misdirected enthusiasm, and flashes of Aberdonian 
wit, reference nmst be made to his biography, Robert Fergu- 
son the Plotter, or the Secret of the Ryehouse Conspiracy and 
the Story of a Strange Career, published by D. Douglas, 
Edinburgh, 1887.] 




II. William, the second son, after Robert's departure be- 
coming as it were the heir, his father purchased for him the 
estate of Badiefurrow, a few miles distant from Inverury. He 
was twice married. First to Jean Elphingston, sister to Sir 
James Elphingston of Logic, by whom he had one son, James. 
In his second marriage, with Lucretia Burnett, he had three 
sons, who all went abroad. 

[The ' List of Pollable Persons in the Shire of Aberdeen ' 
notes as living at Badifurrow in 1696, Lucrece Burnett, relict 
of the deceased William Ferguson of Badifurrow, and her 
children, Patrick, Walter, and Mary, the ' heritor ' of Badi- 
furrow being then ' out of the kingdom.' He died after 4th 
March 1694, the date of a Great Seal charter in favour of 
WilHam Ferguson of Badifurrow in liferent, and his son Mr. 
James Ferguson in fee.] 

III. James, his son by the first marriage, being bred to the 
law, commenced Advocate before the Court of Session. He 
sold the estate of Badifurrow and purchased that of Pitfour in 


Buclian. [The estate of Pitfour appears originally to have 
consisted of ' the lands and barony of Toux and Pitfour, com- 
prehending the lands commonly called Toux and Pitfour, 
Mill of Leggat, mill lands, astrict multures and sequels . . . 
Cairn-orchies, Drumies, Braikieshill, Dumbmill, Teitswell, 
Gachinwivis, with the manor place of Pitfour, the whole houses 
and pertinents l^'ing in the parish of Deer and shire of Aber- 
deen, united and incorporated into one barony called the 
barony of Pitfour . . . which lands and barony of Pitfour 
are held of the King in fee and heritage perpetually ' (descrip- 
tion in service of 1700, shortly prior to the purchase by James 
Ferguson of Badifurrow). To these lands were subsequently 
added the Earl Marischal's estates of Inverugie, etc., in the 
parish of St. Fergus, extensive lands in Longside, and the 
lands of Bruxie and others in Old Deer. The lands in Old 
Deer and Longside south of the river Ugie were afterwards 
sold by Admiral Ferguson.] He Avas married to one of the 
family of Stuart [i.e. Anne, sister of Captain Stuart of Crichie 
in Buchan], and had a son, James, and a daughter, Elizabeth. 
She died unmarried [on 20th March 1781, at the age of 88. 
James Ferguson was appointed Sheriff-Depute of Aberdeen- 
shire in 1710, and died when on a visit to Slains Castle on 
New Year's Day 1734. Ramsay of Ochtertyre has this allusion 
to him : * He purchased at different times the estate of Pitfour. 
He was a man much respected in that country for his public 
spirit and worth. But having been an adventurer in the 
South Sea, he would have been a ruined man had it not been 
for his son's exertions.'] 

IV. James [Lord Pitfour] was bred to his father's business, 
which he pursued with the highest character. He was one 
of the Senators of the College of Justice and Lords Commis- 
sioners of Justiciary in Scotland. He was married to Anne 
Murray, daughter of Alexander Murray, Lord Elibank, and had 
three sons, James, Peter, and George, and three daughters. 

[Lord Pitfour was born in 1700, became Dean of Faculty 
in 1760, was raised to the Bench in 1764, and died on 25th 
June 1777. His wife died on 2nd January 1793. He was 
counsel for the Jacobites at Carlisle in 1746, where he and 


Lockhart found the English juries ready to hang any man 
who wore the tartan. It is said that the advocates resorted 
to a novel device, had their servant dressed in Highland 
garb, managed to slip him in with the next batch of prisoners, 
and then, by putting each other into the box, proved conclu- 
sively that he had been with them throughout the rising and 
could not possibly have been out. The incident is said to 
have had a most salutary eft'ect in the trials which followed. 


Lord Pitfour combined sound legal ability and high character 
with much dry humour. Ramsay records that before he 
received his gown ' all men wondered that he had not been 
made a judge, for in his hands it was said men's lives and 
properties would be safe.' 

Two characteristic observations of his upon a bad decision 
and a doubtful doctrine have been recorded. ' This case/ 


runs a note by hira, * was not fully pleaded at first, and some 
judges are like the old Bishop, who having begun to eat 
the asparagus at the wrong end, did not choose to alter.' 
* Servate terviinos quos patres vestri posiiere is Lord Pit- 
four's answer to doubts suggested on the point.' Lord 
Hailes, after reporting Pitfour's statement as to a certain 
case, ' Erskine had a feeble antagonist in myself and yet was 
unsuccessful,' adds, ' This affected modesty is disgusting, for 
every one knows that Lord Pitfour is a great lawyer, and that 
he is zealous beyond measure in support of his own opinions.' 
In an important case in which the authority of their opinions 
was appealed to. Lord President Blair referred to Pitfour and 
Lockhart as ' two of the greatest lawyers that ever did honour 
to this Court, men who stood long unrivalled at the head of 
the bar, and whose character was equal to their legal know- 

Pitfour always wore his hat on the bench on account of 
weak eyesight, and the Court of Session Garland pictures 
him as citing cases in illustration 

' With a wink and his hat all agee.' 

He is said to have owed his judgeship to the ' astute manage- 
ment' of Lord Mansfield in spite of Jacobite proclivities. 
' The king asked whether he was not objectionable on political 
grounds, and Lord Mansfield in reply said, in a matter of 
course way, that the Duke of Arg}'ll, who was present, would 
vouch for Mr. Ferguson's loyalty. The Whig Duke, deprived 
perchance of presence of mind by the unexpected appeal, 
merely bowed.' 

* James Ferguson, afterwards Lord Pitfour,' writes Ramsay 
of Ochtertyre, 'was one of the greatest and most popular 
lawyers of that period, and also a man of probity and amiable 
disposition. . . . Though his small shrill voice and awkward 
person prevented him from being an elegant speaker, yet so 
deeply learned was he in the philosophy of the law, and so 
well acquainted with the springs that actuate the human 
heart, that few barristers were heard with more satisfaction. 
His metaphysical turn combined with common sense enabled 
him to set every subject in a new and striking point of light. 


The candour and caution with which he explained his Avay 
in dark involved cases, and the diffidence Avith which he 
urged arguments of a novel cast, got him the favour of the 
judges and sometimes staggered his opponents. He had 
none of the Aberdeenshire brogue, for though he did not 
affect to speak English, he was perfectly intelligible to any 
South Briton. His manner of pleading was better suited 
to the Court of Session than to the Justiciary, where it is 
necessary to carry juries by surprise or by a blaze of eloquence. 
As his conscience would not allow him to go unwarrantable 
lengths, so his pleadings were too refined for most jurymen. 
But when nice points of law occurred in a criminal trial 
recourse was often had to him, his ingenuity and skill 
being confessedly great. ... As a chamber counsel he gave 
universal satisfaction. In advising his clients he displayed 
a comiDrehension and foresight which would have become a 
Chancellor of England. Instead of flattering their Welshes 
and prejudices, or of adding fuel to the angry or interested 
passions, he spoke his sentiments with honest plainness, 
stating the difficulties they had to encounter and the chances 
against them. In a word, for a number of years people w^ere 
unwilling to proceed in any business of moment till they had 
Pitfour's opinion to sanction them. A series of his opinions 
would be a treasure of information to men of business, as 
well as a truly honourable monument to the head and heart 
of this amiable and able man. Nor did his law papers give 
less satisfaction to the judges and his clients. ... It may 
be thought strange that a man of such parts and virtue 
should not have been called to the Bench till past his prime. 
But he was long considered a disaffected man, whom it would 
be improper for a Whig administration to promote. It pro- 
bably originated from his being an Episcopalian, like most of 
the northern gentry of those times. . . . He submitted to 
the established government, and took the oaths prescribed 
by law, a sacrifice which a man of his honour and sense 
would not have made had it been against his conscience. . . . 
He was surely partial to the persons of his ^'onjuring friends, 
whose private virtues he respected. And as he sincerely 
compassionated many of the unhappy sufferers in that cause, 


he was always ready to give them the aid of his professional 
skill in their law business. That was sufficient, in times when 
party spirit ran high, to make him be suspected by the 
Whigs. The active hand he took in setting up a qualified 
chapel at Old Deer shows that he was not satisfied with the 
pohtics of the Nonjuring clergy. . . . On the occasion of his 
appointment Lord Mansfield applied for an audience of the 
king, and said to him, " Sir, your reign begins to be clouded 
with faction. The best way of blunting its face is to keep 
the channels of justice clear by placing men of parts and 
virtue upon the bench. Mr. Ferguson is confessedly the first 
man at the Scottish bar, and all the world speaks well of 
him." ... As a criminal judge he Avas accused of leaning in 
general too much to the side of the prisoners, a fault which 
could not with justice be found in most of his brethren. It 
was alleged that, in some cases, he Avent great lengths to get 
the culprits acquitted w^hen the evidence was very strong. 
But even malevolence durst not ascribe his conduct to 
political or personal considerations, for whilst he sat on that 
bench the voice of party Avas not heard in Scotland, and the 
people who excited his commiseration were Ioav friendless 
creatures. His great humanity, joined to the indignation he 
had felt Avhen at the bar Avhen he saw the Judges over 
zealous for the Crown, made hiin perhaps incline more to the 
other side than Avas proper or decent. At a very pleasant 
dinner at Stirling in 1772, on the last day of a Circuit, in a 
small but select company, Avhen Lord Pitfour gave the Court 
of Justiciary, Lord Kames, Avho Avas that day in high glee, 
said : " Ay ! Pitfour here is our hanging Court, of Avhich you 
are a most unworthy member ; for if you got your will nobody 
would ever be hanged. You Avould have been a rare judge 
to the Empress Elizabeth of Russia." He entertained us 
with a laughable account of his friend's courtship. In 
entertaining the company that Avaited on him Lord Pitfour 
observed a middle course. As his manner Avas courteous and 
humble, his face was such as became the dignity of his place. 
If he had not the convivial talents of some of his brethren 
in entertaining large and mixed company, nothing could be 
more delightful than his supper-parties, Avhen he liked the 


company. . . . When a lawyer it was his rule to do no business 
on Saturday (Sunday ?) ; but though a man of unostentatious 
piety he was no Puritan. He thought it no sin to entertain 
a few friends at dinner or supper, when they were delighted 
with the philanthropy, the animation, and the knowledge 
of their host. ... He breathed his last, coming to his 
grave in a full age, like " as a shock of corn cometh in in 
its season." ' 

The following letters from Lord Pitfour are interesting. 
In the first, addressed to ' James Ferguson of Kinmundie, 
Esq., at his lodgings in Paterson's land, below the Canongate 
Cross, Edinburgh,' he announces the solemnisation of his 
marriage : — 

' Dear Cousin, — I came here yesternight, where I have 
obtained the completion of the happiness I have been long- 
intending. We come in upon Tuesday's night, and wiU take 
it very kindly if you and your Lady can come up and sup 
with us betwixt 7 and 8 at night. My Lord and my lady 
and all this family come in with us, and severall of our other 
friends are to meet us in town. I shall add no more but 
my most humble service to your Lady, and am your most 
affectionate cousin and humble servant, 

' James Ferguson. 

'Balnacrief, Feh. 4, 1733.' 

The other is addressed to his young kinsman, who had 
just followed the fashion of his generation by making a run- 
away marriage : — 

'Sir, — I am sorry to hear of your taking a step of this 
importance without your Father's consent. You will no 
doubt make it your chief concern to obtain his forgiveness. 
I doubt if I can have any weight in it at this distance. I 
think it would be proper to apply to Drum, who is a man of 
honour, and will propose nothing but honourable terms. It 
will give me great pleasure to hear that you succeed in 
obtaining a Reconcilement with your father, which is the 
only thing that can ensure future happiness to you and Mrs. 



Ferguson. I most heartily wish it, and am, Sir, your most 
affectionate cousin and humble servant, 

* James Ferguson. 

'Edin., Xovr. nth, 1756.' 

For further details as to Lord Pitfour, his father and son, 
reference may be made to an article headed ' Three Genera- 
tions of the Scots Bar,' published in the Scottish Journal of 
Jurispriulence in March 1886, and to Ramsay of Ochtertjrre's 
Scotland and Scotsmen.] 


V. James — [' the Member '] — the eldest son, having 
studied the law, commenced Advocate before the Court of 
Session in 1757. He made very great and valuable addi- 
tions to the estate of Pitfour. He was elected Member 
of Parliament for the County of Aberdeen in 17[90], 
and continued its representative till his death, which 


took place at London in September 1820. He was never 

[James Ferguson, ' the Member,' was noted for his dry 
Aberdeenshire wit, for his silence in the House of Commons, 
and for his active interest in the agricultural development of 
his estates. He was born in 1735, and Kamsay mentions 
that ' Monboddo had a very idle quarrel with David Hume, 
because he thought young Mr. Ferguson of Pitfour might be 
much better employed than in reading Eustathius's Com- 
mentaries on Homer.' ' In several important causes he 
proved himself not unworthy of his illustrious father,' but 
his ultimate interests lay in London and Aberdeenshire. He 
was defeated in his first contest for Aberdeenshire in 1786, 
when Mr. Skene, the nominee of the Fife interest, was suc- 
cessful by ten votes. An election ballad of the time describes 
the contest with spirit, and indicates that ' the Lord of the 
Protestant mob' had thrown his influence on the opposite 
side from most of his name : — 

' And there were the Gordons of every degree, 
As stately and gentle as Gordons should be. 

And there were the Duffs all arranged on one side, 
All true to the Dun Cow whate'er might betide : 

And a joyful day it was, to be sure, 
For the victuals Avere good and the claret was pure, 
While the rabble roared out, — such roaring was never, — 
" For Skene and Lord George, beef and porter for ever." ' 

After sitting for Banffshire — in a detached part of which a 
large part of his estates lay — Pitfour carried Aberdeenshire 
in 1790, and though more than once assailed, held it till he 
died, ' the Father of the House of Commons.' In 1806 Lord 
Melville wrote : — ' Our friend Pitfour has had a hard struggle 
against the whole power and efforts of Government, but we 
have carried it, to his great joy and to the great annoyance of 
his opponents.' He was an intimate personal friend, as well 
as steady supporter, of Pitt and Dundas, to whose memory he 
erected a simple monument of Aberdeenshire granite at the 


gate of Pitfour, the inscription on which can scarcely be 
surpassed for its laconic felicity : — 





ViCECOMiTis Melville 

priscae virtutis virorum 

ex indigenis marmoribus durissimis 

at quibus illorum fama perennior 

donum debit 

Jacobus Ferguson 

DE Pitfour 


Lord Sidmoiith has preserved this anecdote of Pitfour, 
whom Lord Stanhope describes as a ' noted humourist.' One 
day Ferguson, with several other members, was dining in the 
coffee-room of the House of Commons, when some one ran in 
to tell them that Mr. Pitt was on his legs. Every one pre- 
pared to leave the table except Ferguson, who remained 
quietly seated. ' What,' said they, ' won't you go to hear 
Mr. Pitt ? ' ' No,' he replied, ' why should I ? Do you think 
Mr. Pitt would go to hear me ? ' ' But indeed I would,' said 
Pitt, when the circumstance was told to him. 

Pitfour, it is said, used to assert that the Government 
ought always to choose a tall man for Lord Advocate. 
' We Scotch members,' he said, ' always vote with the Lord 
Advocate, and we require therefore to see him in a division. 
Now I can see Mr. Pitt, and I can see Mr. Addington, but I 
cannot see the Lord Advocate.' It was said of him that he 
was never present at a debate and never absent from a 
division ; but this is inconsistent with the statement, also 
attributed to him, that he had heard many speeches which 
changed his opinion but never one that changed his vote, 
and with his own declaration that he ' had never voted against 
Mr. Pitt but twice, and both times, on reflection, found he 
was wrong and Mr. Pitt right.' It is said that his only speech 
in the House was to move that a window behind where he 
sat should be mended ; but it is also reported that on one 


occasion he rose, and the unexpected treat of a speech from 
one whose wit was well known in the precincts was greeted 
with loud shouts of 'Hear hear.' He paused a moment, 

looked round, then said, 'I'll be d d if you do,' and sat 


Of 'old Pitty' and his servant John not a few stories 
linger in the north. John was a great character, and ' Pitt, 
Pitfour, and I ' were the favourite subject of his conversation. 
In the days of the witty and beautiful Duchess of Gordon, 
Pitfour, it is said, received many invitations to Gordon Castle, 
which, for reasons of his own, he would neither accept nor 
answer. It has indeed been said that he had at one time 
been engaged to the future Duchess, and that there lay the 
secret of his confirmed bachelordom. At last the Duchess 
wrote to John : ' Dear John, come to Gordon Castle, and 
bring your master with you.' John went in perplexity to 
Pitfour for advice as to the reply. ' Answer as you're 
addressed,' said Pitfour. ' If she begins " Dear John," you 
must reply " Dear Jean." ' Another incident has only been 
partially preserved by Dean Eamsay. One night Pitfour and 
a friend were deeply immersed in a game of chess, when the 
door opened and John announced, ' Laird, the supper 's on the 
table.' ' All right, John ; we '11 be there presently.' Quarter 
of an hour or so passed, and the game was not finished, when 
John appeared a second time, with some asperity in his tone : 
' I was saying, Laird, the supper's ready.' ' We '11 be down 
in a minute, John.' Another quarter of an hour elapsed, 
and then the door was flung open, and John, marching 
straight up to the board, swept all the pieces off it with the 
words, ' Come awa to yer supper when ye're bid.' ' John,' 
said Pitfour, ' this will not do ; you and I must part.' 
* Aweel, Laird, we '11 see aboot that in the morning ; come 
you to your supper the noo.' When morning came, John 
was ready. ' Whaur 's yer honour gangin' ? Whaur '11 ye be 
sae comfortable as in yer ain hoose, Laird ; for I 'm no gaein' 
awa : / ken ower weel when I'm weel aff.' John had at one 
time fancied he could better himself by setting up in business. 
After the lapse of a year or two he wrote a long letter to his 
old master detailing all his miscarriages, and asking to be 



taken back into his service. Pitfoiir, who hated trouble, 
sent back the letter, writing at the bottom, ' Accepts with 
thanks. — J. F.' 

The Duchess of Gordon's riddle upon ' old Pitfour ' is 
worth quoting : — 

' My first is found upon the banks of Tyne, 
My second is scarce quite the half of nine ; 
My whole a Laird of Aberdeenshire race, 
An honest fellow with an ugly face.' 

On no occasion was he given to lavish expenditure of 
words. His laconic reply to an inquiry as to the extirpation 
of rooks was, ' Shoot the fools that shoot the crows/ and his 
doctrine of the three protits of agriculture was pithily ex- 
pressed in the words, ' Ane to saw, ane to chaw, and ane to 
pay the rent witha'.' On one occasion he so answered a 
number of silly questions put to him by a London lady, 
intensely ignorant and inquisitive about Scotland, that she 
went away believing 'Scotland to be a country containing 
neither corn nor trees nor grass, but covered all over with 
long coarse hair.' A local writer thus describes his ' patriotic 
labours ' in the improvement of his native district : — ' He has 
built several extensive and thriving villages : has conducted 
a canal through a considerable part of his property: has 
introduced by his influence fine turnpike roads throughout 
the greater part of Aberdeenshire : has promoted by liberal 
encouragement the most improved systems of husbandry 
among his tenantry: has planted many hundreds of acres 
which promise to rescue the district of Buchan from the 
reproaches of future travellers : has enclosed whole farms 
with hawthorn hedges, and granted leases to all his tenants 
on terms peculiarly liberal. . . . Mr. Ferguson's attachment 
to Buchan, which is almost proverbial, and his enthusiastic 
delight in planning and executing schemes to promote the 
happiness of his tenantry : in tine, the general tenor of his 
whole life — have justly entitled him to the venerable appella- 
tion of the Father of his People.'] 

V. Patrick, James's second son was born in 1744, and hav- 
ing early chosen the life of a soldier, was sent to finish his edu- 
cation at a military academy in London. His first commission 


was purchased for him at the age of fourteen, in the Royal 
North British Dragoons, and during his short but glorious 
career he served in the 70th and other regiments. He united 
in his character the calm judgment and exalted abilities of 
his father, Avith the vivacity and genius of his mother's family. 
He attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and was killed in 
the action at King's Mountain, South Carolina, 7th Oct. 1780 


[Patrick Ferguson was the inventor of the first breech- 
loading rifle used on service, for which he took out a patent 
in 1776. On one occasion Washington owed his life to his 
chivalrous forbearance ; and American authors point to 
King's Mountain, where he commanded the Loyalist force, 
and where the battle was decided by his death, as the turning- 
point of the Revolutionary War. " His distinguished bio- 
grapher. Professor Adam Ferguson, says of him, 'Ferguson 
was the friend of every man's merit, and had no enemy to 
his OAvn,' and has preserved this characteristic passage from 


one of his letters : — ' The length of our lives is not at our OAvn 
command, however much the manner of them may be. If 
our Creator enable us to act the part of men of honour, and 
to conduct ourselves with spirit, probity, and humanity, the 
change to another world, whether now or fifty years hence, 
will not be for the worse.' ' He possessed,' says General 
Stewart of Garth, ' original genius. ... By zeal, animation, 
and a Hberal spirit, he gained the confidence of the mass of 
the people. . . . Directing the conduct of men unaccus- 
tomed to strict discipline, he led them step by step to 
accomplish the duties of experienced soldiers. At King's 
Mountain he was overpowered by numbers, and fought and fell 
like a Spartan.' For a full account of his most interesting 
career, with its incidents of chivalrous daring, reference must 
be made to his life in Two Scottish Soldiers (D. Wyllie and 
Sons, Aberdeen, 1888), and the Biogi-aphical Sketch by Pro- 
fessor Adam Ferguson. A Life of Colonel Patrick Ferguson 
is also in course of preparation in America, by G. A. Gilbert, 
Danbury, Conn.] 

V. George [' the Governor '], James's youngest son, was 
for many years Governor of the Island of Tobago, and 
succeeded his brother James to [sic] his extensive estates of 
Pitfour, etc., on his death in September 1820, and died on 
the 29th December 1820. 

[Chambers in his Traditions of Edinburgh preserves one 
or two interesting reminiscences of Governor Ferguson and 
his eldest brother: — ' Between the heads of the Advocates' and 
Don's Closes, in the Luckenbooths, and bearing the number 
833, stands a land of no great antiquity or peculiar appear- 
ance, but remarkable for containing the house of Lord Pit- 
four, whose two sons continued to reside in it till their deaths 
in 1820. . . . This is remarkable for having been the last 
house in the old town inhabited by a gentleman of fortune 
and figure. . . . There never existed a greater difference 
between two brothers in personal appearance than between 
James and George Ferguson. James was a remarkably fat 
and easy-looking old man, with a good-humoured gentle- 
manly face ; while George was tall, slim, erect, and nimble, 


with a face expressive of a sharp and Hvely temperament.' 

Governor Ferguson was supposed to be the W of Peters 

Letters to his Kinsfolk He was noted for his hospitahty and 
taste in wine ; and when his stock was sold after his death, 
one parcel marked "My mother's wine" brought a great 
price on account of its supposed age, but after all it turned 
out to be nothing better than a manufacture of the good 
lady's own, distilled from the humble Scottish gooseberry.'] 

Y. Jane, James's eldest daughter, died unmarried. 

Y. Elizabeth, the second daughter, married Mr. Wedder- 
burn of Birkhill, but has left no issue. 

Y. Anne, the third, died unmarried. 
[George Ferguson ' the Governor ' left the estate of Pitfour 
to his son, 

YI. Admiral George Ferguson, RN. — 'the Admiral' 
— who married, first, in 1812 Elizabeth Holcombe, only 
daughter and heiress of John Woodhouse of Yallon Court, 
CO. Hereford. They had one daughter, who succeeded 
to her mother's property, and married the Rev. Thomas 
Taylor Lewis, Incumbent of Bridstow. Admiral Ferguson 
married, second, the Honourable Elizabeth Jane, eldest 
daughter of Clotworthy, first Lord Langford, and niece of 
Field-Marshal the Duke of Welhngton, and left by his second 
marriage (with other issue) one son, George Arthur, Admiral 
Ferguson was M.R for Banffshire 1833-37, and died in 1867. 
He was succeeded by his son, 

YII. George Arthur (born 1835), Captain and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Grenadier Guards. He married the Hon. Nina 
Maria Hood, eldest daughter of Alexander, first Yiscount 
Bridport of the United Kingdom, and Duke of Bronte in the 
kingdom of Italy, and grandniece of Admiral Earl Nelson, 
and has issue, 

YIII. Arthur George, (born 22nd June 1862), Captain Rifle 
Brigade, A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught during 
his command in India. 

Francis William (born 29th July 1863), served as a volun 
teer in the Matabele War, 1893-94. 


Rev. Edwin Augustus (bom 24th September 1864), Rector 
of Bulwick, Wansford, North Hants, married MadeHne Master, 
and has issue. 

1. Madehne Jane. 

2. Dora. 

Charles Alexander, bom 21st Oct. 1873. 

Edith Rosa, 

Mary Georgina, .] 





II. James [' the Brigadier '], the third son, entered into the 
army when ver}^ yo^^ng, and having signahsed himself in an 
especial manner, was promoted to the rank of Brigadier 
General. He served in four reigns — King Charles, King 
William, Queen Mary, and Queen Anne's {sic) — still main- 
taining the character of a brave, valiant, and prudent 
officer, till his fame raising envy in the heart of the then 
commanding officer, he was cut off by very sinister means. 
He left one son James [and a daughter Elizabeth, who 
died unmarried, being the children of his first marriage 
with Helen, daughter of James Drummond of Cultmalindie], 
and a daughter, [Anna Elizabeth, only child of his second 
marriage with Hester Elizabeth Hibelet, a Dutch lady of 


Bois-le-Diic], who being born in Holland, continued there. 
[She married M. Gerard Vinck. Brigadier Ferguson in 1695 
acquired the estate of Balmakelly and Kirktonhill in the 
Mearns. He had first served in the Dutch Scots Brigade, 
came over with William of Orange; was taken prisoner at 
Killiecrankie, commanded the expedition to the West Coast, 
which commenced the construction of Fort- William, was 
transferred to the Cameronian Regiment after the battle of 
Steinkirk, and commanded it for twelve years. He ' led up 
the first line of foot ' in the attack on the Schellenberg, and 
commanded a brigade at Blenheim. He was in command of 
the British troops at Maestricht for some weeks previous to 
the march into Germany, and there, immediately before his 
Brigade moved as the rearguard, he made his will, which was 
written by Mr. James Ferguson, Advocate, the Laird of Pit- 
four, who managed his affairs in Scotland for him. He was 
selected for the responsible service of conveying the French 
prisoners to Holland after Blenheim, and his second marriage 
was solemnized on his arrival at Bois-le-Duc. His gravestone 
in the Cathedral of Bois-le-Duc, where he died suddenly the 
following October, when in command of the garrison there, 
' having,' says Blackader, 'just come from Court, where he had 
been sent for that he might be raised a step higher for his 
services,' bears the inscription : — 

De H. Ed. Gestr. Heer, 




His name, however, appears in the lists of the British army 
as Major-General. 

General Mackay, in a letter to King William in., described 
him as * loersonne de 'prohiU et cVhonneuT cortime aussi fidele 
et affectionne an service de votre MajesW Marlborough, 
in announcing his death, wrote : ' C^tait un officier de 
Tndrite pour lequel j avals heaiicoup d'estime et que je ne 
puis assez regretter : le public y a une grande perte aussi 
bien que sa famille ; ' and in a letter of his own, speaking of 
his regiment, which then had several Fergusons among its 


officers, he uses words whicli would have made a fitting 
epitaph on his own tombstone : ' AVe have our good service 
to plead for us, and that we have been honest and loyal 
from the beginning, and Avill continue so to the end.' 

For details of his career, see Memoir in Two Scottish 
Soldiers, Aberdeen, D. Wyllie and Son, 1888. (For arms, 
see ch. xiii.)] 

III. Jctmes [1696-1777, known colloquially as 'old Bomy,' 
from Balmakelly or Bomakellie, his first territorial designa- 
tion] had the estate of Kinmundy purchased for him, [situated 
in the same Aberdeenshire parish as Pitfour. ' The lands and 
barony of Balmakelly, comprehending the lands of Kirkton- 
hill, Marykirk, mill and mill-lands thereof, and the other 
towns contained in Colonel Ferguson's charter under the 
great seal,' were sold in April 1723, and in the same year 
those of Kinmundy were bought from Gordon of Pitlurg. 

A charter of the barony of Kinmundy then resigned for 
new infeftment, dated 1728, confirmed to James Ferguson of 
Kinmundy and his heirs All and Whole the lands and 
barony of Kinmundy, comprehending the town and lands of 
Over Kinmundie, with the dominical lands and manor place 
of the same ; the town and lands of Deurie, and the lands of 
Milnbreck, with the mill, mill-lands and astricted multures 
of the same ; the town and lands of Milnhill, the town and 
lands of Pettymarkhouse, the town and lands of Smallburn, 
the towii and lands of Kinknockie, comprehending the town 
and lands of Oldtown of Kinknockie, Westertown, alias 
Westerstrype, alias Pittendreachseat, and Backhill, alias 
Barrackseat, with all houses, buildings, gardens, orchards, 
mosses, moors, marshes, etc., pertaining thereto, lying in the 
parish of Old Deer, incorporated and erected into one whole 
and free barony called the barony of Kinmundy, and like- 
wise all and whole those parts and portions of the lands and 
barony of Old Deer, viz. the town and lands commonly 
called the dominical lands of Aden, and the pendicle of 
the same, commonly called Bridgehouse, with the pendicle 
of land commonly called Clerkhill, together with the mill 
of Aden, the mill-lands, astricted multures, sucken sequels, 
and knaveships of the same, and also the town and lands of 



the Kirktown of Old Deer, and all the riggs, acres, and 
particles of land lying in and around the same, with the 
right of superiority of the whole feus there lying, together 
with the whole feu-duties and other casualties due and 
paid from the same, and also the town and lands of Biffieraw 
of Bitfie, and Parkhouse of Biffie, with the whole houses, 
buildings, gardens, orchards, etc. . . . ; and also All and Whole 
the two annual markets or fairs held annually within the 
said Kirktown and parish of Old Deer, which are commonly 
called the Fairs of Aickie and Dusten, Avith the weekly 
markets held within the said Kirktown of Old Deer, together 
with the whole tolls, customs, casualties, emoluments, privi- 


leges, and arising from the same or pertaining to the said 
annual fairs and weekly markets, together with the feu-duties 
and casualties paid by the said feuars, together also with 
the whole teinds as well greater as less, as well rectorial as 
vicar's of the whole foresaid lands last above mentioned, 
which are parts and portions of the said barony of Old 

Some years later, in 1744, the lands of Coynach, contiguous 
to the barony of Kinmundy, were acquired ; but in 1758 those 
of Aden and Old Deer, described in the charter of 1728, were 
sold to Alexander Russell of Moncoffer.] 

He was married first (on 30th December 1727) to Elizabeth 


Deans, by whom lie had one son James, and a daughter 
Marjory. In his second marriage (3rd February 1752) with 
Margaret Irvine (of Artamford) he had no issue. [He seems 
to have been in the army while quite a child, for there are 
among the Kinmundy papers allusions to ' our pupil's pay as 
ensign,' and the following curious receipt : — 

' Sir, — I have received six recruits from William Johnston 
servitor to James Ferguson of Pitfour to Brigadier Preston's 
regiment [the Cameronians], which is raised by me for 
brigadier ferguson sone who is ensign of the above regiment. 

' W. Drummond. 

'EdR. IthApr. 1711.' 

The foundation-stone of the house of Kinmundy, dis- 
covered some years ago in executing alterations, bears 
the inscription : — 

E. DEANS, & 




The house was plundered and almost burnt by Gordon of 
Glenbucket's Highlanders in the ' Forty-live,' and only saved 
by the presence of mind of 'the Lady Kinmundy,' whose 
husband was absent, and whose young son had been hurriedly 
despatched to a neighbouring farmhouse concealed in a 
clothes-basket. She sent a message to the officer in com- 
mand to the effect that it was strange conduct on the part 
of a gentleman so to treat a lady's house ; that she had just 
been preparing some refreshment for his men when they set 
fire to the part of the house where it was to be served, and 
that if they wanted their dinner they had better put the 
fire out. The same good lady on another occasion, when 
a recruiting party were forcibly impressing the young men 
around, and some of them asked protection, is said to have 
put the house in a state of defence, and answered the 
summons to surrender the fugitives with the reply, 'Her 
people had come there for safety, and safety they should have, 
and before they were got the house must be knocked down.' 


Tradition, supported by an old door with a deep sword-cut 
in it, says that on one occasion at least there was a fight ; 
and a story is told that once when the Jacobite cause was 
in the ascendant, a party of horsemen arrived to seize the 
Laird, who was in hiding in the house of one of his tenants 
in the moss. The horsemen asked a half-witted fellow if 
he could guide them to where the Laird was. He rephed 
* he could do that fine,' and led them into the middle of a 


deep morass, where horses and men were soon floundering. 
After laughing at them from a piece of solid ground, he 
made off, but the tradition as locally handed down specially 

records his report that ' they just d d extraordinar.' 

The strong Presbyterian convictions and Hanoverian sym- 
pathies of ' the Lady Kinmundy ' led her to take an active 
part on the Government side; and Glenbucket's 'rude civilities' 
were repaid by her active co-operation with Lord Mark Kerr's 
dragoons and the Campbell militia who carried out the orders 


for the destruction of the non-jurmg places of worship in 
Buchan. Whether or not the story be true that she watched 
from the hill of Coynach the flames of the chapels at Old 
Deer and Longside, which is inconsistent with another which 
records the interchange of repartees with the Rev. Mr. Skinner 
at Longside on the same occasion, it is certain that when she 
heard the former edifice was being rebuilt on her husband's 
lands at Old Deer, she promptly rode over with some of her 


people and demolished it. A local minister warned his corre- 
spondent to remember in writing letters to Old Deer ' that the 
Lady Kinmundy hath given it the name of Dear William ' — 
an appellation which fortunately never took hold ; — and the 
well-known song ' O Logie o' Buchan,' Avritten by the Jacobite 
schoohnaster on whose head the Duke of Cumberland set a 
price for having Avritten ' Awa, Whigs, awa/ originally began 
with the line 

' woe to Kinmundy, Kinmundy the Laird,' 


an aspiration which was probably stimulated by the fact that in 
legal pleadings of the time it was stated that * the said James 
Ferguson is a person publicly known to be well affected to 
us, our person, and Government.' His uncle had been ' the 
Judas of Dryden's great satire,' and in some of the Jacobite 
lampoons an elaborate comparison was drawn between his 
wife and Jezebel. 

The first Mrs. Ferguson died in Edinburgh on 23rd January 
1751, and was buried in the Canongate churchyard. On 
3rd February 1752 the Laird married en secondes noces 
Margaret, ' eldest daughter of William Irvine of Artamford, 
and the deceased Isobel Keith his spouse' (Marriage Con- 
tract). He died on 20th January 1777.] 

IV. James [born 12th December 1734, died I7th February 
1787] was married [14th October 1756] to Elizabeth Urquhart 
(of the family of Byth), [daughter of Thomas Urquhart, Esq., 
and Isabella, daughter of William Forbes of Blackton], by 
whom he had three sons, James, Thomas, and William, and 
three daughters, Elizabeth, Isabella, and Margaret. 

[He was the recipient of the letter from Lord Pitfour 
previously quoted, and the unfortunate result of his runaway 
love-match was the sale of the Aden portion of the Kinmundy 
estates. There are not a few humorous touches in the 
family correspondence of the time, for all his friends were 
not so stern as the future judge. ' I imagine,' Avrote Dingwall 
of Culsh, ' the ground of the present quarrel is that you have 
chosen a wife for yourself. Time will make that subside 
unless ye differ upon matters of interest. As Meldrum is 
your lady's relation, and shows himself friendly to you, he 
is a sensible honest gentleman, and may be of very good 
use to you.' Eighteen years later the Aberdeen Journal^ 
in announcing Mrs. Ferguson's death, added, in the quaint 
diction of the age, ' In every station of life she was an 
example of those virtues which render the female sex truly 
amiable.' The following interesting allusion is preserved in 
a letter written in 1778 by her father to his eldest grand- 
son, whom he had just conveyed to college in Edinburgh : 
'Twixt Laurencekirk and Stonehaven on this side of Drum- 
lithie I made the driver stop to let me see Glenbervie, as 


my grandmother Heneret Douglas was a daughter of Douglas 
of Glenbervie, and the house lies in a Glen.' The house of 
Glenbervie were the descendants of that gallant son of old 
Archibald Bell the Cat, whose brave effort to win the bridge 
over the Till and cover the Scottish retreat from Flodden 
field with the two hundred men he had held together, drew 
from the Earl of Surrey the quick inquiry, ' What banner is 
that ? ' ' That is the Douglas banner,' was the reply. ' Then,' 
said the English general, 'the victory is not ours till that 


banner too is taken;' and he despatched an overwhelming 
force against the little band, who fought so well, that of the 
two hundred, only sixteen left the fatal field, and among those 
who lay dead was their leader. Sir AVilliam Douglas, the 
first of Glenbervie.] 

y. James [known as ' the lame laird,' born 12th November 
1759, died 20th November 1816] succeeded his father in the 
estate of Kinmundy, and married [in 1787] Isabella Brown 
[daughter of the Rev. WilHam Brown of Craigdam], by 


whom he had five sons, James, Wilham, Thomas, John, 
and Alexander, and one daughter ahve, Isabella. [She died 

Mr. Ferguson, whose family had adhered to the Secession 
Church, though living a retired life in the country, took a 
deep interest in the controversy on the question of the 
national recognition of religion, which led to its Disruption 
in the early years of the nineteenth century. His brother-in- 
law, Mr. Aitken, his son's father-in-law, Mr. Chalmers, and the 
latter's son-in-law, Dr. M'Crie, were all among the four who 
originally formed the Constitutional Presbytery in mainten- 
ance of the old principles of the Secession and of the Church 
of Scotland, in regard to the relations of Church and State, 
Avhen the acceptance of ' French principles ' converted the 
majority of the old religious Seceders into political Dis- 
senters. He was frequently consulted by his friends, and 
their correspondence shows the great reluctance with which 
they accepted the necessity of division from their former 
ecclesiastical associates, a reluctance as great as that with 
which his grandmother had felt bound to face 'the evil of 
separation from my parish kirk.' Though it was waged in 
a small arena, the principles involved in that controversy 
were those on which ever rests the relation between Church 
and State, and it rehearsed in principle the wider conflict of 
the century as to the maintenance of national religion.] 

VI. James [J. P. and D.L. for the county of Aberdeen, born 
21st November 1789, died in May 1862] succeeded his father 
in the estate of Kinmundy, and married [August 1817] Emily 
Chalmers [daughter of the Rev. Robert Chalmers of Hadding- 
ton], by whom he had two sons, James [who died in 1841, 
being accidentally killed at Glasgow while serving a practical 
apprenticeship as a civil engineer, and having volunteered to 
take another man's place when the work on which he was 
engaged appeared to be dangerous] and Robert [who died 
young. Subsequent to the writing of the Ms. were born 
William, now of Kinmundy, and Thomas. 

VII. William (born 20th December 1823, J.P. and D.L. 
for the county of Aberdeen ; Captain 17th A.R.V. Corps, 


1867-1873, F.RS., F.G.S, etc.; Chairman Great North of 
Scotland Eailway Company from 1879), third and eldest sur- 
viving son of James of Kinmundy (vl), succeeded his father 
in the estate of Kinmundy ; married, on 22nd July 1856, 
Eliza, daughter of Andrew Williamson, Esq., Ayr (who died 
19th February 1881), and had three children; James, Andrew 
WilHamson (born 7th October 1858, died 1st January 1864), 
and Agnes Adair. 

VIII. James (born 28th July 1857) ; called to the Scots Bar 
1879 ; Advocate-Depute, February- August 1892, re-appointed, 
July 1895 ; Captain and Hon. Major (V.I).) 3rd (the Buchan) 
Vol. Batt. Gordon Highlanders ; Honorary Secretary, National 
Union of Conservative Associations for Scotland (Central 
Office), 1882-92; married (25th March 1885) Georgina Anne, 
eldest daughter of Captain John de Courcy Andrew Agnew, 
E.N., of Dacre Lodge, Cumberland, and granddaughter of 
Sir Andrew Agnew, 7th Baronet of Lochnaw, Wigtonshire, 
and has issue — 

IX. James (born 20th February 1886), John de Courcy 
Agnew (born 2nd March 1887)]. 

V. Thomas [1768-1828], second son of James [(iv.) and 
Elizabeth Urquhart], a W.S. ; married Catherine Cummine, 
by whom he has a son, James, and a daughter, Marjory : [she 
died unmarried. 

VI. James (1807-1880), son of Thomas Ferguson, W.S. 
(v.), married, in 1868, Anne, daughter of the Kev. Charles 
Macpherson, minister of Tarland, and sister of Colonel 
(Macpherson) Farquharson of Corachrie, and had five 
children — 

VII. James William (born 1869), Lieutenant, 3rd Dragoon 
Guards ; Mary (died unmarried), Catherine Cumine, Anne, 
Marjory (died unmarried).] 

V. William [1771-1843], residing at Clola [Kinmundy, who 
died] unmarried. 

V. Elizabeth, married Eev. D. Meek. 
V. Isabella, married Rev. J. Aitken. 
V. Margaret, [died] unmarried. 


IV. Marjory, only daughter of James, first of Kinmimcly, 
married James Cummine of Kinimnonth (a gentleman of an 
ancient family and a neighbouring estate to her father's), 
and left two daughters — 

V. Margaret, married Alexander Kussell of Aden, by whom 
she had seven sons and three daughters. 

Y. Catherine, married Thomas Ferguson above mentioned. 

[VI. William (1792-186 ), second son of James of Kin- 
mundy (v.), was a merchant in Leith, and died unmarried. 

VI. Thomas (1794-1831), the third son, was a W.S. He 
married Barbara Hutchison, a descendant of his ancestor 
Brigadier Ferguson's sister, but died without issue. 

VI. John (1797-1857), the fourth son, hved at Brae of 
Coynach, and was factor on his brother's estate. His son, 

VII. John (died 1879) married Mary, daughter of Rev. 
Charles Macpherson, Tarland, was factor on his cousin's 
estate, and second Colonel of the 3rd Aberdeenshire Volun- 
teers, or Buchan Rifles. His widow married Dr. Robert 
Murray Garden, Aberdeen. 

VI. Alexander (1804-1857), the fifth son, married Agnes 
Maitland, and had three children — 

VII. William (1851-1874, died unmarried), Margaret, Agnes 
married (1892) John Nicholson, Esq. 

VII. Thomas (born 1828), 3^ounger son of James of Kin- 
mundy (vi.), lived for several years at Alton of Coynach, and 
now resides in Aberdeen. He married (21st February 1867) 
Agnes, daughter of Robert Whyte, Esq., and has issue — 

VIII. Robert (born 5th February 1869), M.B., CM. ; 
William (died unmarried), James (died unmarried), Thomas 
(born 22nd April 1877), Agnes Emily.] 

[Among the Kinmundy papers are the following : — 

Commissions of Major- General Ferguson. 

1. 12th June 1677 (Dutch), Quartermaster in Colonel Mac- 
donnel's Regiment. 


2. 9th September 1678 (Dutch), Vendrighe in Captain 

Ztiylen's Company. 

3. 21st February 1682 (Dutch), Lieutenant in Captain 

Cunningham's Company. 

4. 10th June 1685 (Dutch), Lieutenant in Captain Middle- 

ton's Company. 

5. 1st April 1688 (Dutch), Captain, both from the Prince of 

Orange and the States of the United Provinces. 

6. 22nd May 1688 (Dutch), Captain of Captain George 

Hamilton's Company. 

7. 1st August 1692 (English), Lieutenant-Colonel in Munro's 

Regiment (the Cameronians). 

8. 1st January 1698 (Dutch), Captain of a company in his 

own regiment. 

Burgess Tickets. 

Glasgow, 7th May 1690. In favour of ' James Ferguson, 
Major of the Regiment of Colonel Lauder.' 

Edinburgh, 30th October 1691. ' Major James Ferguson.' 

Montrose, 9th November 1698. ' Collonell James Fergusone 
of Balmakellie.' 

Brechin, 28th February 1722. James Ferguson of Balma- 

Montrose, 23rd April 1723. Jacobum Ferguson de Balma- 

Aberdeen, 14th July 1732. Jacobus Ferguson de Kin- 

(Although the ticket has not been preserved, it appears 
from a note that the freedom of Aberdeen was conferred 
upon James Ferguson, Younger of Kinmundy, son of the 
recipient of the three tickets last mentioned, on 18th October 

The following election letters are of some interest : — 

' Half Moon Street, London, 
ISth August 1761. 

' Sir, — I have been to blame in not returning you thanks 
for your obliging letter and kind congratulation on my suc- 
cess in the election sooner, but the great hurry I have been 


in, and the very short space I have till now been able to stay 
in one place will, I hope, plead my excuse. I was exceedingly 
obliged to Kinmimdy and by Kinmundy, and no less so to 
Miss Ferguson. If ever it lie in my power to return the 
favour to any of their or your concernt, I shall esteem 
myself happy in doing so. I sincerely wish you all well, 
and with my kind comp^^ to your Lady and family, and to 
friends at Kinmundy, — I ever am, with regard and esteem, 
d*" Sir, your most faithful and obliged humble servant and 
friend, ' Ad. Gordon. 

' Pray remember me kindly to Mrs. Betty Ferguson, Pit- 
four, and to all friends. 

' To James Ferguson. Esq., Yr. of Kinmundy .' 
Lord Adam Gordon was then M.P. for Aberdeenshire. 

The following is Pitfour's election address of 1790 : — 

* Edinburgh, 11th June 1790. 

' Dear Sir, — As Parliament is now dissolved, I take this 
early opportunity of offering myself as a candidate to repre- 
sent the County of Aberdeen, and of soliciting the support of 
your vote and mterest at the coming Election. 

' Should I have the good fortune to attain a situation so 
truly respectable, I shall endeavour by every means in my 
power to show my gratitude to those gentlemen who honour 
me with their support ; and to forward with unremitting 
attention what appears to me to be the true interest of the 
County and of the nation at large. — I have the honour to be, 
d"" Sir, your most obed. and most hu^ serv*, J. Ferguson. 

' My dear Cousin, — / hope earnestly for your attendance.' 

Stray passages in old private letters are often eloquent of 
national events and the public spirit of the time. Two 
sentences from ones addressed to Mr. Ferguson of Kinmundy 
may be quoted, one of which rings with the confident 
patriotism of the time, and the other illustrates a philosophy 
which never evaporates. On 18th July 1805 a correspondent 



writes : ' We have now fine warm weather, and must ensure a 
fine crop of everything, and in a day or two we shall have 
great news from Lord Nelson.' The other is from one who 
lived a quiet country life. ' It seems Mr. Pitt is dead : great 
changes are still taking place.'] 




II. George, the fourth son. He lived and died in Old Mel- 
drum, a village distant about four miles from Inverurie, and 
seventeen and a half from Aberdeen. [He and a friend are 
recorded as having in the famme of 1696 undertaken to 
purchase 1000 or 1200 bolls of bear to sell to the people in 
the north at a price to be fixed by the authorities, they 
' having no desire of profit, but allenarly the keeping of the 
poor in the said shire from starving.' They applied to the 
Privy Council for protection for their cargo from French 
privateers.] He was married first to Jane Forbes, by whom 
he had four sons — Robert, John, William, and George, and 
five daughters, Jean, Janet, Mary, Christian, and Magdalene. 

III. Robert, John, and George all died unmarried. The 
two eldest entered into the army, and after having attained 
to good stations, died. 

[Among the officers of Brigadier Ferguson of Balmakelly's 
regiment — the Cameronians — in 1699-1700, were a Lieutenant 
John Ferguson, Adjutant, and John and Robert Ferguson, 
Ensigns. A Lieutenant John Ferguson was present, and 
Lieutenant Robert Ferguson was wounded at Blenheim, and, 
in a state of the regiment, made up ' after the two actions 
in Germanic, 1704,' the roll of the Brigadier's own com- 
pany was signed by Robert Ferguson, who must have been 
his subaltern, and was probably his nephew.^ 

III. William, the third son, lived at Mill of Insch, and, 
being a man of sound judgment and quick penetration, went 
commonly by the name of ' the Judge.' He was married to 
Mary Panton, and had two sons, George and John, and two 
daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. 

IV. George lived at Kilmory, and was married to Margaret 
Tulloch, a daughter of one of the Tullochs of Tannachy, a 
very ancient family in the county of Moray, by whom he had 
one son, 

[V.] William, a merchant in London, and one daughter, 

1 Kinmundy Papers. 


Mary, who died umnarried. [For arms see chapter xiii. 
Sir Walter Scott's Note-book contains the following- : — 

'Salutation of two old Scottish Lairds. "Ye 're maist 
obedient hummil servant, Tannachy-TuUoch." " Ye 're nain 
man Kilspindie." '] 

IV. John, his brother, was in 1764 a captain in the navy. 
He was married and had issue, but it is not known to whom 
he was married or what became of his issue. 

(He was married to Lydia Cumber, and had four children : 

1. John, a captain in the navy. 

2. William, a captain in the army. 

3. Lydia, who married Sheridan. 

4. Marion, who married Dr. Smith.) 

[Lydia Fergusone, afterwards Sheridan, appears as an 
authoress in the printed catalogue of the British Museum.] 

[This John was the ' black captain ' of the ' Forty-live,' and 
a most active officer. Several anecdotes of him have been 
preserved. He is said, on arriving off the coast of Skye, to 
have got into conversation with a dairymaid from Kings- 
burgh house, and to have had her shown over his ship, when 
the girl let out the important secret by saying ' she had seen 
many nice gentlemen, and the Prince was at her master's 
house night before last, and was a very nice gentleman, but 
not half so kind as Captain Ferguson.' 

The Jacobite writers describe him as ' a most active emis- 
sary of the Hanoverian party,' and as 'a fitting tool for 
William the Cruel' He more than once narrowly missed 
capturing the fugitive Prince, who on arrival both at Morar 
and Boradale found the houses ' burned by Captain Ferguson.' 
It is recorded as an instance of second sight that the arrival 
of his ship on the coast of Skye on the hot scent of Prince 
Charles was foreseen by a Highland seer : it was to that ship 
that Flora Macdonald was taken on her arrest, and a com- 
bined party of sailors from it and Campbell Militia secured 
only a lesser prize in the seizure of Lord Lovat. 

The following notice of Captain John Ferguson is given in 
Charnock's Biographia Navalis : — 

' This gentleman in the early part of the year 1746 was commander 


of the Furnace bomb, then employed as a cruiser off the coast of 
Scotland. (He "seized 800 stand of arms at M'Donald of Barras- 
dale's house, in the isle of Kasay.") He rendered himself so con- 
spicuous on that station by his activity, diligence, and general 
conduct, that he was, on 6th October in the same year, promoted, 
it is said in consequence of the express interference and recom- 
mendation of the Duke of Cumberland, to be captain of the Night- 
ingale, a new frigate just then launched. During the ensuing year 
we believe him to have been principally employed as a cruiser, and 
in the month, either of September or October, he again distinguished 
himself by the capture of a French ship of somewhat superior force, 
called the Dauphin Royal, carrying 22 guns and 150 men. The 
enemy made a very obstinate though running fight, and was not 
overpowered till after a contest of ten hours' continuance. No fur- 
ther mention is made of him till the year 1753, when we find him 
commanding the Poixupine sloop on the coast of Scotland, and very 
actively employed in scouring that quarter, and preventing the 
return of the rebel chiefs, many of whom, after having escaped to 
France, it was then rumoured, were on the point of attempting to 
repair again to their native country, in the hope of inciting some 
fresh insurrection. (He was not long afterwards appointed regu- 
lating officer on the same station.) 

'We have no account of him after this time till the year 1758, 
when he was captain of the Prince of Orange, a fourth-rate of 60 
guns, one of the ships sent on the expedition against Louisburg, 
under the command of Mr. Boscawen. He remained in the same 
station during a considerable space of time, but neither himself nor 
his ship are again noticed till the year 1762, when the Prince of 
Orange was one of the Channel Fleet under the orders of Sir Edward 
Hawke and his Koyal Highness the late Duke of York. In both 
the services last mentioned, as well as every other in which he was 
employed during the war, he appears to have unfortunately had 
no opportunity of increasing either his fame or fortune. After the 
conclusion of the war he was appointed to the Firnie, a fourth-rate 
of 60 guns, as he afterwards was to the Prince of Orange, a ship of 
the same force. He died on 13th June 1767. 

*An anecdote is related of this gentleman in Entick's History 
which we think it would be an act of injustice to him to suppress. 
The coast in the neighbourhood of Louisburg was so extremely well 
fortified, both by art and nature, that it was generally deemed 
almost an impracticability to effect a landing ; the admiral took the 


advice of each captain separately, and, to use the historian's own 
words: "It coming to the turn of Captain Fergusone, an old, 
brave, and experienced officer, whom Mr. Boscawen had requested 
from the lords of the admiralty to attend him in this service, and 
in whose opinion and conduct in the most trying occasions he could 
place great confidence, this captain having delivered himself in the 
most respectful terms in regard to the opinion of his brethren whose 
reasons the admiral ingenuously related to him, and despising the 
arguments drawn from the danger of the service, for proving an 
impracticability without an actual attempt to land, and to force 
the enemy's forts with all the art and strength in their power, he 
advised the admiral for his own honour and the glory of his coun- 
try to exert that power with which he w^as invested, and not to 
leave it to the uncertain resolutions of a council of war, which had 
been so fatal at Minorca, at Eochfort, and even at Halifax, to the 
disgrace of all concerned, and to the extreme loss of the nation." 

' The admiral acquiesced in the justness of the captain's observa- 
tion on councils of war : resolved to call no council, but strictly to 
adhere to his instructions, which were to land the troops on the 
island of Cape Breton.' 

For his arms, see chapter xiii.] 

IV. Elizabeth, their eldest sister, was married to Mr. Jar- 
dine, an oiBcer of excise (son of Sir A. Jardine of Applegarth, 
Dumfriesshire),^ and had three sons and one daughter. 

IV. Mary, Elizabeth's sister, or William's youngest daughter, 
died unmarried. 

Now as to George the fourth son's daughters : 

III. Jean, Janet, Christian, and Magdalene, his first, 
second, fourth, and fifth daughters, aU died unmarried, but 
Mary, the third daughter, married John Milne, a merchant in 
Old Meldrum, and had two daughters. 

In George's second marriage, with Christian Steven, he had 
three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Isobel. The tAvo 
eldest died unmarried, and the youngest was married to a 
Mr. Murdoch, a gentleman in Old Meldrum, but had no 

^ Older Kinmundy MS. 



II. John, the fifth son, was married to Bathia Carr, and 
lived and died in Inverurie. [He purchased Stonehouse, or 
the southern part of the Inverurie Roods, in 1676.] He had 
three sons, William, James, and George. 

III. William was married to Keith [He sold Stone- 
house to William, second Earl of Kintore], and resided at Mill- 
breck, a to^vn \_i.e. farm] very near Kinmundy, and had one 
son, Alexander, and live daughters, Henrietta, Margaret, 
Catherine, Bathia, and Isobel. 

IV. Alexander, William's only son, died a captain of a 
trading vessel. 

IV. Henrietta, his eldest daughter, was married to Mr. 
Ryon, an officer of excise, and had two sons, both in the navy, 
and one daughter. 

IV. Margaret and Catherine died unmarried. 

IV. Bathia was married to Gordon, and had one 


IV. Isobel, the youngest daughter, was married to Mr. 
Gray, a gentleman in Edinburgh, but had no issue. 

HI. James entered into the Emperor of Germany's army, 
but it is not known if he married or had issue. (By last 
accounts he Avas in a very good station there.)^ 

III. George, John's youngest son, died in his youth. 

^ Older Kinmundy ms. 



II. Walter, the sixth son, Uved and died [in 1728] in 
Inverurie, in the house where his father, grandfather, and 
great-grandfather were born ; in fine, a house where his pro- 
genitors had been for upwards of 300 years. He was married 
to Margaret Panton, and had four sons, James, WilHam, John, 
and George, and live daughters, Margaret, Janet, Mary, Bar- 
bara, and Bathia. [His father, who survived to 1699, disponed 
the old house and large holding of the Burgh Roods to him 
in 1680.] (Walter's second and youngest sons went abroad 
to Poland, since which no notice has been had of them.) [So 
says the oldest copy of the genealogy extant ; but after nearly 
a century of silence, the son of William reappeared in Scot- 
land, having carved out fresh fortunes for himself and his 
children in the East of Europe. William Ferguson had in 
1714 married Catherine Concordia Tepper, sister of Peter 
Tepper of Warsaw. They had a second son, Peter, the eldest 
being called William, who in 1767 was adopted by his uncle, 
who had no issue. He married Mary Philippine Valentine, 
and in 1779 obtained the royal licence in London to take the 
additional name of Tepper, having then four sons and five 
daughters. For his arms, see chapter xiii. on Ferguson 
Heraldry, and for further details, chapter xii. on Fergusons 
Abroad. Walter's third son, John, was a wine-merchant in 
Bath, and died without issue ; and there was a fifth Walter. 
Margaret married George Scott, and Janet, Alexander 

III. James [Walter's eldest son, 1681-1753] was married 
to Isobel Scott, daughter of George Scott, Town-Clerk of 
Inverury, and had four sons, AValter, James, John, and 
Anthony, and three daughters, Margaret, Mary, and Janet. 
[Three other sons, George, William, and Charles, died young.] 

IV. Walter [1714-1797] was a writer in Edinburgh. He 
married Lord Swinton's sister, but had no issue. [He is 
designed as Walter Ferguson of Kinnaird in the document 
vouched for by Mr. Gumming, F.S.A., which was prepared in 
connection with the visit to Scotland of his Polish cousins. 


and as such registered arms in 1761. (See ch. xiii.) He owned 
land upon which part of the New Town of Edinburgh was 
built, and was the last holder of the old property in Inverurie. 
* The ancestral seven Lower Roods and one-sixteenth Common 
Lands,' says Dr. Davidson in his Inverurie and the Earldom 
of the Garioch, ' were the last remaining Unk of the family to 
Inverurie.' For some time Walter Ferguson had cherished 
the idea of building either a good house for himself or a 
public building creditable to the town upon them, but in 
1796 he wrote to the parish minister: -'I am determined to 
part with all my lands in Inverurie immediately. ... It is a 
thing I never intended to do after the land has been about 
five hundred years in my family from father to son.' The 
sale was completed by his widow, the Earl of Kintore purchas- 
ing the Common Lands.] 

IV. James [1723-1793] was a Captain in the Navy, and 
afterwards Governor of Greenwich Hospital. 

[His brother Walter, in a letter of 3rd August 1780, men- 
tioned that ' Admiral Rodney paid him a very high compli- 
ment for his behaviour in the last action.' Among ' the votes 
of Mr. Ferguson of Pitfour' in Banffshire in 1788 occurs the 
name of Captain James Ferguson, late of the Romney. The 
Scots Magazine of 1784 noted ' Captain James Ferguson, late 
commander of the Terrible and Egmont men-of-war, is ap- 
pointed Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital. This 
promotion was granted him spontaneously without solicita- 

The following account of his career is taken from Chamock's 
Biographia Navalis : — 

' James Ferguson was a gentleman of Scottish extraction, who, 
having entered into the Royal Nav}^, was on the 1 5th of November 
1756 promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and after a remarkably 
short continuance in the intermediate one of commander, was 
advanced, on 6th June 1763, to that of post-captain, being ap- 
pointed to the Romney^ of 50 guns, the flagship ofthe lo rd Colville, 
on the North American station. (He went to sea, in the first 
instance, as a petty officer on board the Leopard, and was after- 
wards recommended to Lord Colville, who promoted him to be a 
lieutenant, but he was not confirmed for a long time, owing, as is 


said, to his lordship having neglected some other recommendation 
given to him from Lord Anson.) He continued in the same em- 
ployment during the two succeeding years ; but after that time we 
do not find him again in commission till after the commencement 
of the dispute with the North American Colonies, when, in 1776, 
he was appointed to the Brwie frigate, of 32 guns, and ordered out 
to New York, we believe, with a convoy in the month of June 
following. In the several progressive attacks and debarcations 
made before the end of the year on the different parts of York 


Island, Captain Ferguson having been very particularly and dis- 
tinguishedly employed by the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Viscount 
Howe, conducted himself through the whole of a most intricate 
and difficult service, so as not only to attract his Admiral's highest 
notice and regard, but to procure the highest encomiums on his 
behaviour and good conduct. 

(' " In my report to their lordships on these several transactions," 
wrote Lord Howe in his despatches, " particular notice is due to 
the ability testified in the direction of many difficult and fatiguing 


services -Nvhich Captain Ferguson of the Bnine was charged with, 
preparatory to, and in the progress of the various movements of 
the army, from the time of the first descent on York Island.") 

('In the month of March 1777 he commanded the naval part of 
an expedition sent up the North river to demolish an American 
magazine at Peek's Hill, a service that was very completely and 
successfully executed.) 

' On quitting the Brune, as we believe him to have done in the 
"West Indies, whither he was ordered in 1779, he was appointed to 
the Venus, of 36 guns, one of the ships then employed on the 
same station, where he also distinguished himself at the time of the 
encounter that took place, in the month of April 1780, between the 
fleet commanded by Sir George Rodney and the Count de Guichen. 
He acquitted himself no less honourably than he had done under 
Lord Howe, and is most distinguishedly mentioned by the Com- 
mander-in-Chief in his despatches. " When night came on," says 
he, " I formed the fleet in a line of battle ahead, and ordered the 
Venus and Greyhound frigates to keep betw^een his Majesty's and 
the enemy's fleet to watch their motions, which was admirably 
well attended to by that good and veteran officer. Captain Fer- 
guson." Immediately after the foregoing event this gentleman was 
appointed to the Intrepid as successor to Captain St. John, who was 
killed from that ship. He afterwards removed into the Terrible, of 
74 guns, one of the line-of-battle ships employed on the same 
station. He accompanied the admiral to North America on the 
approach of the hurricane months, but nothing sufficiently memor- 
able to demand our notice took place during the time he was absent 
there, or indeed after his return to the West Indies, till the capture 
of St. Eustatia. This too being effected without any resistance on 
the part of the Dutch, is to be mentioned merely as an occurrence. 
In the month of April following he was present, under Sir Samuel 
Hood, at the encounter with the French fleet off the island of 
Martinico, but the action, owing to the extreme caution of the 
Count de Grasse and his wish of avoiding the contest, having been 
extremely partial, the Terrible was one of the ships which was very 
trivially, if at all engaged. Captain Ferguson resigned his com- 
mand, and returned to England very soon after this time, nor do 
we believe him ever to have taken upon him any subsequent one 
till the month of June 1782, when he was appointed to the 
Egmont, one of the ships then under equipment for the main or 
Channel fleet. He accompanied Lord Howe in this ship to Gib- 


raltar in the month of September following, and on the encounter 
with the combined fleets on the 20th of October was stationed as one 
of the seconds to Rear- Admiral Sir Alexander Hood, who commanded 
the second division of the centre squadron. On that occasion he 
was not materially engaged, having had only one of his crew killed. 
The Egmont on her return to England was ordered to be re-equipped 
for the West Indian station ; but peace taking place immediately 
afterwards, Captain Ferguson resigned his command. 

' In the month of January 1784 he was, on the decease of Captain 
Broderick Hartwell, appointed Lieutenant-Grovernor of Greenwich 
Hospital, a station in which he continued till the time of his death, 
which happened on 14th February 1793. This gentleman, among 
some eccentricities, possessed also many excellent qualities, and the 
shades of the former were not in any degree capable of obscuring 
the brilliancy of the latter. The latter years of his life he unfor- 
tunately passed almost in a state of childhood, in consequence of a 
paralytic stroke which befel him about the year 1786, and, increas- 
ing in its effects, reduced him ere long to the pitiable situation in 
which we have just represented him.'] 

IV. John [1725-1751] died a Lieutenant in the army. He 
was not married. (He was a lieutenant in Brigadier Halket's 
Regiment in the Dutch service.) 

IV. Anthony [born 1730] was a merchant in Edinburgh. 
He had one son, 

V. Hugh, who was an eminent physician in Dublin. 

[IV. Janet, their sister, married Mr. Robert Lock, and was 
the mother of Admiral Walter Lock, and grandmother of 
Colonel Andrew Lock, 50th, and Colonel Henry Lock, 108th 



II. Janet Ferguson, William's only daughter, was married 
to her own cousin, John Ferguson, a Polish merchant, and 
brother's son of her father's, and they had three sons, John, 
Robert, and Alexander, and three daughters, Janet, Mary, 
and Jane. The daughters all died unmarried [except Janet, 
who married John Wishart, Old Meldrum, and died in 1732, 
leaving issue. The only girl among six brothers, Janet, the 
elder, was known in the family for the strength of her char- 
acter and the vigour of her temper as ' gentle Janet.' It is 
said that a friend of her cousin's conveyed his addresses 
through him as an intermediary, but the ambassador received 
the answer, ' Gin ye wad speak for yersel, ye micht hae mair 

III. John went to Poland with his father, and remained 
there in the mercantile way. 

III. Robert also accompanied his father to Poland, but 
returned and settled at Peterhead. He married Jane Smith, 
by whom he had two sons, Alexander and William, and one 
daughter, Jane, who died unmarried. 

IV. Alexander was captain of a trading vessel, and had 
three sons. It is not at present known, however, to whom he 
was married, or what became of his children. 

(He married Elizabeth Clark, and had three sons, William, 
Robert, and James. James was captain of a West Indian 
ship, married, and left one daughter.) 

IV. William, Robert's second son, was both in the navy 
and merchant service. He was married [January 16th, 
1752] to Isabella Arbuthnot, and had three daughters, Jane, 
Margaret, and Christian. [Captain William Ferguson left 
the navy in deference to his wife's Jacobite feelings, but 
re-entered it after the death of Prince Charles Edward. 
In 1756 he commanded H.M.S. Prince of Wales, when 
he received the freedom of Montrose. In the same year, as 


lieutenant of H.M.S. Solebay, commanded by his kinsman 
Captain John Ferguson, he received the freedom of the city 
of Aberdeen, and in 1759 that of Dundee. He was Captain 
of the Peterhead Artillery Volunteers (1795), and died at the 
age of eighty-nine the year after Trafalgar. In 1800 he con- 
tributed to the first volume of the Highland and AgricidUiral 
Society s Transactions a paper on the Fisheries of Scotland.] 
y. Jane is married to Mr. James Hutchison, merchant, 
Peterhead, and has one son and five daughters [one of whom 
married Thomas Ferguson, AV.S. Among Jane's descendants 
are Thomas Hutchison, Cults, Aberdeen, and Mrs. Kane, who 
resides in Captain WiUiam Ferguson's old house, the Brae, 

V. Margaret, William's second daughter, was married to 
Alexander Bruce, Supervisor of Excise, and has four sons. 
[Among her descendants were, and are, Wilham Bruce, M.D., 
Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets ; the Rev. 
Canon Bruce, Dunimarle ; and James Bruce, W.S., Edin- 

y. Christian, William's third daughter, remains unmarried. 

III. Alexander, Janet's youngest son, was a merchant in 
Aberdeen. He, as we have already mentioned, was married 
to Margaret Scott. He had fifteen children, of whom only . . . 
[Here ends the ms. written by Mr. Thomas Ferguson, W.S. 
The copy in the handwriting of his son, James Ferguson, con- 
tinues thus.] . . . He had fifteen children, of whom only one 
son, Alexander, and two daughters, Mary and Ann, grew up. 

ly. Alexander (born 1744) was a writer in Edinburgh. He 
married Jane Legrand, of the family of Bennington, and had 
five sons and four daughters, of whom there are now alive 
one son. Smith (who subsequently died unmarried), and three 
daughters, Margaret, Agnes, and Jane (all unmarried). One 
of his sons, Edward Legrand, was a surgeon in Edinburgh, 
but died unmarried (in 1822). Another, John, went to Rio 
Janeiro, and died unmarried. 

III. Mary, Alexander's eldest sister, married James Black 
in Aberdeen, and had three daughters. 



III. Ann, her sister, married [John] Forbes [of Forbesfield], 

Aberdeen, and had three sons and daughters. [Among 

whose descendants were, or are. Bailie James Forbes of 
Aberdeen, Messrs. James and Alexander Forbes, Mr. John 
Forbes, Q.C., Recorder of Hull, and Alexander Forbes of 


Inverurie Fergusons, represented hy Mr. George Ferguson, 
Lumphart, Aberdeenshire, and Rev. John Ferguson, 
Dean of Moray. 

The only other descendants of the Ferguson famihes, so long 
connected with Inverurie, that can be traced, are the family 
now represented by Mr, George Ferguson, Lumphart, Aber- 
deenshire, and his brother, the Very Eeverend John Ferguson, 
Dean of Moray. The precise connection between them and 
the families to which the foregoing MS. relates unfortunately 
cannot be given ; but Dean Ferguson writes that the late Dr. 
Davidson, parish minister of Inverurie, with whom the Dean 
had communicated after the publication of Dr. Davidson's 
work on Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch, informed 
him that he had succeeded in tracing out the connection, and 
that it would appear in a future publication, which Dr. David- 
son did not live to carry out. The Dean's family probably 
branched off before the date of the acquisition of Badifurrow, 
but ' till within a few years ago they held land in Inverurie — 
the infeftments running back over 200 years.' They Avere 
tenants of the farm of New Craig, Daviot, for a very long 
period, and had a family tradition that they were descended 
from the Crichie Fergusons. 

In 1667 George Ferguson was proprietor of lands on which 
the present Methodist chapel of Inverurie stands. 

In 1727 John Ferguson was proprietor. 

In 1730 William Ferguson in New Craig was served heir 
to his grandfather, George Ferguson, burgess, Inverurie. 

In 1744 William Ferguson in New Craig was served heir 
to his father, William Ferguson. 

' My grandfather,' writes Dean Ferguson, ' William, died 
early in this century, and probably succeeded the above, and 
held the Inverurie land. My father, George Ferguson, suc- 
ceeded my grandfather in the farm of New Craig, but handed 
it over to a younger brother, whose son holds it now. My 
father, after he left New Craig about 1833, held the farm of 


Mains of Mounie, and afterwards that of Mains of Glack, 
where he died, leaving three sons — my elder brother, George, 
now holding the farm of Lumphart, and my younger brother, 
living in Old Meldrum. All these farms are in the parish of 

George Ferguson has two sons and four daughters ; Dean 
Ferguson has one son — MacNeill Ferguson, now in India — and 
three daughters, all married; and William Ferguson two 

Descevdants of Rev. John Fergwsson, Minister of Glengairn 
in 1651 and 1674. 

' A branch of the Fergusons, which has contributed several 
of its members to the learned professions, is that descended 
from " John Ferries or Fergusone," A.M., minister of Glen- 
muick, Glengairden, and Tullich, in Aberdeenshire. He took 
his degree at King's College, University of Aberdeen, in 1642, 
and in the middle of the seventeenth century was minister of 
Glengairn (Fasti Ecd. Scot). He married one of the Erskines 
of the family of Mar, and Erskine was retained as a middle 
name by his male descendants, Dr. Andrew Erskine Fergusson 
and Rev. William Erskine Fergusson, who were born at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century. 

'It is interesting, as an example of the persistence of 
traditions in a family, that his only surviving descendant in 
Great Britain who bore the name, Mrs. Helen Fergusson or 
Wight, can vouch for the fact that her ancestor was a good 
preacher in Gaelic ; that his pastorate was one of great trouble 
and personal danger owing to the turmoils of the times ; and 
that the minister, profiting by his own experience in the 
country, determined that any sons of his should be brought 
up to a town life without a University education. His 
preaching in Gaelic is confirmed by the fact that Gaelic still 
lingers in the upper reaches of the Dee, and the Gaelic 
variant of the minister's own name (Ferries) would suggest 
that his knowledge of both Scots and Gaelic had been taken 
into account in appointing him. Ample confirmation of 
his descendants' remembrance of the difhculties besetting his 


ministry " by reason of the loose men in the country," may be 
found in the Fasti Eccl Scot. Services had often to be held 
in safer parts of the district, at Glenmuick instead of Tullich, 
as on 3rd March 1667, or at Crathie instead of Glenmuick, as 
on 6th April 1673, " in respect of the Micrayes who lyes near 
the parochin in force." The pastor was not easily daunted, 
however ; for it is recorded that he afterwards " catechised a 
part of the people of Micray." 

' The mmister's resolve concerning the future of his children 
is shown by the fact that, on 4th July 1678, Alexander 
Ferguson, " son to Mr. John Ferguson, minister at Glenmuick," 
is bound to Patrick Chrystie, elder, merchant in Aberdeen, as 
an apprentice for live years, and one year for meat and fee. 

' The family throughout the eighteenth century had repre- 
sentatives (chiefly " Jameses " or " Johns ") among the cooper 
burgesses of Aberdeen. This connection, however, was severed 
when, towards the close of the century, the brothers, John 
and Andrew Fergusson, made a departure in the direction of 
medicine. John became a druggist : Andrew a doctor. 

'John Fergusson [b. 1768, c^."l810] had a family of seven, 
some of whom died young. His eldest son, Andrew Erskine 
Fergusson, was a medical graduate of Marischal College, and 
practised for long in Birse, Aberdeenshire. John Fergusson's 
fourth child, William Erskine Fergusson, studied Arts at the 
University of St. Andrews, and, besides other distinctions, 
was a prizeman in 1820 in the class of Logic and Ehetoric 
under Professor Winter. He afterwards studied divinity, was 
hcensed as a preacher, and applied his logical ability to 
theology by Avriting The Laymans Preservative against 
Popery, pubhshed in Aberdeen by George King in 1831. 
The author subsequently emigrated to America. In 1860 he 
was missionary at Indian lands for the Presbytery of Glen- 
garry, Canada. He settled subsequently at Chesterville as 
Inspector of Schools for Co. Dundas, and died in 1880. Of 
his children, one, Alexander Fergusson, became a doctor in 

' The fifth child of John Fergusson, Helen Fergusson, was 
born in 1808, and married John Wight, Woodside, Aberdeen. 
Their third son, John Wight, M.D.,. became proprietor of 


Viewfield, near Aberdeen, and in 1888 bequeathed several 
thousands to the University for medical bursaries. Their 
sixth son, Alexander F. Wight, is an advocate in Aberdeen, 
and laird of the estate of Camphill, Luniphanan, on Deeside. 
Their fifth child, Sarah Fergusson Wight, married in 1865 
William Duff, brassfounder, Dundee ; and her son and 
daughter, John Wight Duff and W^ilhamina Fergusson Dutf, 
are the only representatives among the younger generation 
of this whole family of Fergussons. Mr. J. W. Dufi' is a 
graduate of Aberdeen and of Oxford, and an alumnus of 
Leipzig; he acted for two years as Assistant-Professor of 
Greek in Aberdeen, and is Professor of Classics in the Durham 
University College of Science, Newcastle. 

' Returning to Dr. Andrew Fergusson, senior, who practised 
in Aberdeen in the earlier part of the century, we find him 
mentioned by Smiles, in his Life of a Scotch Ncduralist 
(1876 ed., p. 45), as the doctor who encouraged the youthful 
Thomas Edward in his biological tastes by purchasing the 
boy's specimens. " Big grubs, piebald snakes, dragonflies, and 
yellow puddocks," so lovingly collected by " Tam," found a 
market at Dr. Fergusson's dispensary in the Green. W^hen 
the doctor retired from practice, he removed to London to 
pursue a taste for painting which he possessed. He died at 
Kentish Town, November 24th, 1851. 

' Dr. Fergusson's eldest son graduated at Edinburgh, and 
became rector of Rutger's College, New Brunswick, and 
latterly superintendent of public schools at Lockport, State 
of New York. He was a noted chess-player, and died in his 
84th year in 1888.. 

' The second son of Dr. Fergusson, Andrew, became a doctor 
in the army, and succumbed to yellow fever at Kingston, 
Jamaica. He had married an Irish lady, and his son, 
Bingham Fergusson, was, until a comparatively recent date, 
proprietor of Dunmarklyn, co. Cork, Ireland.' 

{Contributed by Professor J. Wight Duff, 
Newcastle-upon-Ty n e. ) 



Eobert Fergusson was born in Edinburgli on the 5th day 
of September 1750. His father, WiUiam Fergusson, a clerk 
in the service of the British Linen Company, originally came 
from Tarland in Aberdeenshire. His mother, Elizabeth, was 
the youngest daughter of John Forbes, tacksman of Templeton, 
Hillockhead, and Wellhead of Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, 
a cadet of the family of Tolquhon. Young Fergusson was a 


somewhat delicate child, and was not sent to school until he 
was seven years old. His mother, however, had begun his 
education at home, and after six months' tuition under Mr. 
Philp, in Niddry's Wynd, he entered the first Latin class of 
the High School. At this time his inquiring turn of mind 
was often puzzling to his elders. It is told that when about 
eight years of age he was much given to poring over the 


Bible, and the Book of Proverbs appeared to be a special 
favourite. One day he came to his mother in tears and 
asked her to ' whip him.' Such an unusual request demanded 
an explanation, which was given by the little fellow, who 
sobbed out, ' mother ! he that spareth the rod hateth the 
child.' After four years' study at the High School he passed 
to the Dundee Grammar School, whence, at the age of four- 
teen, he proceeded to the University of St. Andrews. His 
father had obtained for him, through Lord Findlater, a pre- 
sentation Fergusson Bursary, w^hich had been founded by the 
Rev. David Fergusson, minister of Strathmartine, and which 
entitled him to a free course in the Faculty of Arts. The 
four years he spent in this ideal University city were, doubt- 
less, the happiest in his brief life. His poetic temperament 
and amiable disposition made him somewhat regardless of 
hard study, but a distinct favourite with both students and 
professors. John Hogg, the College porter, in whose memory 
he penned a pithy Elegy, spoke of young Fergusson as a 
* tricky callant,' but ' a fine laddie for a' that.' On one occasion 
he undertook, for a wager, the role of a street ballad-singer, 
a character for which his tuneful voice rendered him well 
fitted. In his elegy upon John Hogg he refers to those 
student days : — 

' Say, ye red-gowns, that aften here 
Hae toasted cakes to Katie's beer, 
Gin e'er thir days hae had their peer, 

Sae blithe, sae daft ; 
Ye '11 ne'er again in life's career 

Sit half sae saft.' 

During his undergraduate days Fergusson indulged his 
poetic genius principally in composing skits at the College 
authorities. His studies, however, were not neglected although 
he held frequent intercourse with the ' nine faire ladyes that 
dwelle on y fok'd hille ' ; but unfortunately all these occasional 
pieces have perished except his ' Elegy on the Death of 
Gregory.' Besides being a good classical scholar he was also 
proficient in Mathematics, and must have attended to the 
work of the Natural Philosophy class, as he enjoyed the 
esteem and regard of Professor Wilkie, to whose memory he 


wrote an Eclogue. At the close of session 1767-68 lie left 
St. Andrews, ' and like Cowper on leaving Olney, he inscribed 
his name behind the window-shutter of a small back room 
in the College.' 

His father died in 1767, and so the young poet returned to 
Edinburgh to his widowed mother. The circumstances of 
the family were at this time rather narrow, and the pressure 
of poverty was making itself felt. Robert had to abandon 
his thoughts of entering the ministry and turn his abilities 
to some practical use. With this object in view he went to 
Aberdeen to his uncle, John Forbes, hoping through his 
influence to find some suitable employment. With this 
relative he stayed about six months, but the object of his 
visit seemed no nearer realisation, and when the rude 
Aberdonian taunted him upon his idleness and threadbare 
appearance, the high-strung nephew, filled with indignation, 
quitted his house and set out on foot for Edinburgh. The 
result of this dispiriting journey was a severe illness, which 
told heavily upon his delicate constitution. On his recovery 
he wrote the poem on ' The Decay of Friendship,' which is 
. the only instance of repining at the hardness of his fate. He 
assumes the pastoral guise of Damon, and laments that 

' No healing slumbers tend my humble bed, 
No friends condole the sorrows of the poor. 

' And "what avail the thoughts of former joy ! 
What comfort bring they in the adverse hour ! 
Can they the canker-worm of care destroy, 
Or brighten fortune's discontented lour % ' 

Back in Edinburgh Fergusson found employment as an 
engrossing clerk with Mr. Charles Abercromby, then Com- 
missary-Clerk. The drudgery of office- work was little cal- 
culated to soothe the fine feelings of a budding poet, but 
poverty made it a necessity. He also spent two or three 
months at the Sheriff-Clerk's office. The monotony of 
clerking must have been distasteful to him, and one can 
hardly wonder that he found congenial surroundings in 
certain taverns in the society of several players and musicians, 
whose acquaintance he had made. He had even little time 
to devote to poetical pursuits, and the fruits of his genius 


exhibit haste and lack of finish. Fergusson seems to have 
been anxious to get to the end of whatever he had on hand, 
and did not trouble about careful revision. This is seen in 
the most artistic of his poems, ' The Farmer's Ingle.' From 
1771 to his death, four years later, he produced the most of 
the pieces which now form his works. At this time (1771) 
he contributed a number of English poems to Ruddiman's 
Weekly Magazine of Edinburgh Amusement, among his first 
pieces being the pastorals, ' Morning, Noon, and Night.' 
Notwithstanding the commendatory notice which preceded 
these, our poet's English poems are much inferior to those in 
Scots. The poet was far from pleased himself with such 
pieces, and felt that the stirrings of his soul could only find 
adequate expression in his native Doric. 

' The conviviality of club-life after business hours,' says J. 
Logic Robertson, ' was the rule in Edinburgh all through the 
latter half of last century ; and the mysteries of Hy -jinks, as 
elaborately described by Ramsay and dramatically presented 
by Scott, were in general and almost of nightly practice 
among citizens of every grade and degree of respectability. 
And yet poor Fergusson, because, falling in Avith the universal 
custom, he had the misfortune to succumb to it — partly from 
a generous excess of social sympathies, and partly from a too 
delicate constitution — has been held up to point the moral 
as a principal sinner and a prime offender. He certainly 
paid more dearly for his indulgence, but it is questionable if 
he was any worse than hundreds of respectable citizens of 
the time. He was a dutiful son, an affectionate brother, and, 
in the words of a correspondent of Burns who knew him well, 
" an inestimable friend, whose rich conversation, full fancy, 
and fehcitous manner made him much sought after." A 
volume of his poems, first collected and published in 1773, 
came into the hands of the youthful Bums, and won for 
Fergusson's memory, from the greatest genius and warmest 
heart of his country, a wreath of mingled admiration, love, 
and regret.' ^ 

The publication of his poems drew the attention of the 

' For Puir Avid Scotland' s Sake, by Hugh Haliburton. Edinburgh : 
W. Paterson, 1887. 


reading public, and the good folk of Edinburgh gladly wel- 
comed the pieces which came from his pen. His personal 
qualities — good-nature, vivacity, sincerity, strong intellect — 
made him a favourite with many. Outside the capital many 
people of standing took an interest in the young poet, and 
we find him a guest at Broomhouse, North Belton, and 

There are many stories told of innocent escapades in which 
he indulged to the great enjoyment of his companions. His 
impulsive nature led him further than he should have gone 
with such a delicate constitution, and his free and easy life 
told upon his health. He began also to turn his mind to 
religion, and to lament the many follies of which he had been 
guilty. His unpublished mss. were committed to the flames, 
while he consoled himself with the reflection, ' that the only 
consolation which the recollection of his poetry aflbrded him 
was, that it never had been prostituted to the service of vice 
or irrehgion.' Among his attentive friends at this period of 
gloom was the Rev. Dr. Erskine of Greyfriars. His mind 
became deranged, and the last months of his short life are 
too painful to be dwelt upon. It is a sad story. He died in 
Darien House, to which such unfortunate cases as his were 
sent, on the 16th October 1774, having only shortly com- 
pleted his twenty-fourth year. His remains were interred in 
the Canongate Churchyard. To his grave Robert Burns 
came, long after, to pay his tribute to the genius of his ' elder 
brother in the muses.' He found only the ' green mound 
and the scattered gowans,' and was moved to tears as he 
thought of the young life of promise cut ofl:' in the morning 
of its existence. Burns erected a plain, touching tombstone 
in memory of his brother poet, and inscribed it with the 
well-known epitaph : — 

' No sculptur'd marble here, nor pompous lay, 
No storied urn, nor animated bust ! 
This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way 
To pour her sorrows o'er her poet's dust.' 

The inscription runs : — ' By special grant of the Managers to 
Robert Burns, — who erected this stone, — this burial-place is 
ever to remain sacred to the memory of Robert Fergusson.' 


The names of Burns and Fergusson are thus Unked together, 
and the admiration of the former for ' the glorious dawning ' 
of the latter's genius was not more pronounced nor less 
genuine than his heartfelt regret for his unfortunate end. 


Few biogi'aphies are so full of interest as that of James 
Ferguson. The son of humble parents, he rose, by means of 


the native genius of his character, to be one of Britain's 
most famous experimental philosophers and astronomers. 
Shortly before his death he wrote his autobiography, which is 
such a beautiful example of simplicity and frankness that we 
cannot do better than give part of it here. 

' I was born in the year 1710, a few miles from Keith, a 
little village in Banffshire, in the north of Scotland; and 
can with pleasure say that my parents, though poor, were 


religious and honest ; lived in good repute with all who knew 
them ; and died with good characters. 

' As my father had nothing to support a large family but 
his daily labour, and the profits arising from a few acres of 
land which he rented, it was not to be expected that he could 
bestow much on the education of his children : yet they were 
not neglected; for, at his leisure hours, he taught them to 
read and write. And it was while he was teaching my elder 
brother to read the Scottish Catechism that I acquired my 
reading. Ashamed to ask my father to instruct me, I used, 
when he and my brother were abroad, to take the Catechism, 
and study the lesson which he had been teaching my brother ; 
and when any difficulty occurred, I went to a neighbouring 
old woman, who gave me such help as enabled me to read 
tolerably well before my father had thought of teaching me. 
Some time after, he was agreeably surprised to find me read- 
ing by myself: he thereupon gave me further instruction, 
and also taught me to write ; which, with about three months 
I afterwards had at the Grammar School at Keith, was all 
the education I ever received. 

' My taste for mechanics arose from an odd accident. 
When about seven or eight years of age, a part of the roof of 
the house being decayed, my father, desirous of mending it, 
apphed a prop and lever to an upright spar to raise it to its 
former situation ; and to my great astonishment I saw him, 
without considering the reason, lift up the ponderous roof as 
if it had been a small weight. I attributed this at first to a 
degree of strength that excited my terror as well as wonder : 
but thinking further of the matter, I recollected that he had 
applied his strength to that end of the lever which was 
furthest from the prop, and finding on enquiry, that this was 
the means whereby the seeming wonder was effected, I began 
making levers (which I then called bars) ; and by applying 
Aveights to them different ways, I found the power gained by 
my bar was just in proportion to the lengths of the different 
parts of the bar on either side of the prop. I then thought 
it was a great pity that, by means of this bar, a weight could 
be raised but a very little way. On this I soon imagined 
that by pulling round a wheel, the weight might be raised to 


any height by tying a rope to the weight, and winding the 
rope round the axle of the wheel, and that the power gained 
must be just as great as the wheel was broader than the 
axle was thick ; and found it to be exactly so, by hanging 
one weight to a rope put round the wheel and another to 
the rope that coiled round the axle. So that in these two 
machines it appeared very plain that their advantage was 
as great as the space gone through by the working power 
exceeded the space gone through by the weight. And this 
property 1 also thought must take place in a wedge for 
cleaving wood; but then I happened not to think of the 

The 3^oung mechanic wrote out a short account of these 
machines, sketching figures of them with a pen, thinking 
that it was a fresh discovery he had made. A friend pointed 
out that it had all been discovered before, and gave him a 
book upon mechanics, which proved of great service to the 
ardent learner. At this time James was sent by his father 
to herd sheep, and it was while engaged in this occupation 
that he began to study the stars. 

' I then went to serve a considerable farmer in the neigh- 
bourhood, whose name was James Glashan. I found him 
very kind and indulgent ; but he soon observed that in the 
evenings, when my work was over, I went into a field with a 
blanket about me, lay down on my back, and stretched a 
thread with small beads upon it, at arm's-length, between my 
eye and the stars, sliding the beads upon it till they hid 
such and such stars from my eye, in order to take their 
apparent distances from one another, and then laying the 
thread down on a paper I marked the stars thereon by the 
beads, according to their respective positions, having a candle 
by me. My master at first laughed at me, but when I 
explained my meaning to him, he encouraged me to go on ; 
and that I might make fair copies in the daytime of what 
I had done in the night he often worked for me himself I 
shall always have a respect for the memory of that man.' 

The Rev. John Gilchrist, minister of Keith, to whom the 
young shepherd had been sent with a message, on seeing his 
star papers gave him some further information about the 


shape of the earth and the use of maps. From this gentle- 
man he obtained maps to copy, in which work he was greatly 
assisted by his master, who often took the threshing-flail out 
of his hands and worked himself, Avhile the young astronomer 
was busy with compasses, ruler, and pen. 

Through his friend the minister, young Ferguson was 
introduced to Thomas Grant, Esq., of Achoynaney, whose 
butler, Cantley, was a bit of a mathematical genius. Mr. 
Grant offered to take James Ferguson to live with him in 
order that he might receive the benefit of his butler's tuition. 
This he agreed to do on completing his term of service with 
his present master. This butler was no ordinary servant, as 
may be seen from the astronomer's autobiography, in which 
he says, ' Mr. Cantley, the butler, soon became my friend, 
and continued so till his death. He was the most extra- 
ordinary man that I ever was acquainted with, or perhaps 
ever shall see, for he was a complete master of arithmetic, a 
good mathematician, a master of music on every known 
instrument except the harp, understood Latin, French, and 
Greek, let blood extremely well, and could even prescribe 
as a physician upon any urgent occasion. He was what 
is generally called self-taught, but I think he might with 
much greater propriety have been termed God Almighty's 

Under this well-qualified instructor he made rapid progress 
in decimal arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. At this time, 
when he was becoming proficient, his teacher, to his inex- 
pressible grief, left Mr. Grant and went to the Earl of Fife's, 
which was several miles away, and young Ferguson, though 
pressed to stay, returned to his father's house. The butler 
on leaving presented him with a copy of Gordon's Geo- 
graphical Graimmar, which was greatly treasured by him. 
' There is no figure of a globe in it, although it contains a 
tolerable description of the globes and their use. From this 
description I made a globe in three weeks at my father's, 
having turned the ball thereof out of a piece of wood, which 
ball I covered with paper, and delineated a map of the world 
upon it, made the meridian ring and horizon of wood, covered 
them with paper and graduated them ; and was happy to 


find that by my globe, which was the first 1 ever saw, I could 
solve the problems.' 

He had, however, to think of his bread and butter, and so 
engaged himself to a miller, thinking he would have some 
spare time for study. But the miller, who was too fond of 
tippling at an alehouse, left him to do all the work, and 
almost starved him into the bargain. At the end of a year he 
returned home in a weak state of health. After recovering 
strength, he went to serve with a doctor who was also a 
farmer, expecting to get some insight into the practice of 
physic, but in this he was disappointed. He was kept so 
hard at work that his health again failed, and after three 
months he was obliged to leave in a very infirm condition, 
While in this state he turned his attention to the mechanism 
of timepieces and made a wooden clock, which kept time 
fairly well. Sir James Dunbar of Durn, seeing the mechanical 
genius of the youth, employed him to clean his clocks, and 
at such work he was able for a time to make some money. 

' During the time,' he says, ' I was at Sir James's hospitable 
house, his sister, the Honourable Lady Dipple, came there on 
a visit, and Sir James introduced me to her. She asked me 
whether I could draw patterns for needlework on aprons and 
gowns. On showing me some, I undertook the work, and 
drew several for her ; some of which were copied from her 
patterns, and the rest I did according to my own fancy. On 
this I was sent for by other ladies in the country, and began 
to think myself growing very rich by the money I got for 
such drawings, out of which I had the pleasure of occasionally 
supplying the wants of my poor father.' 

At the same time he did not neglect his astronomical 
studies ; but this gift of drawing became the turning-point in 
his career. Through the influence of Lady Dipple he was 
sent to Edinburgh to receive instruction in the art of por- 
trait painting, and he followed this new profession for twenty- 
six years with considerable success.^ 

The following reference in a letter from Horace Walpole to 
Ferguson the Astronomer's paintings (or possibly to some of 
W. Gouw Ferguson's) is interesting : — 

^ For specimens of his portraits see pp. 268, 269, and 271. 


On February 21st, 1764, the author of Royal and Noble 
Authors wrote to Rev. Henry Zouch : — 

' You are exceedingly obhging, sir, to offer me one of your 
Fergusons. I thank you for it as I ought ; but in truth I have 
more pictures than room to place them.' 

During his two years' stay in Edinburgh, Ferguson ' took 
a violent inclination to study anatomy, surgery, and physic, 
all from reading of books, and conversing with gentlemen on 
these subjects.' This turn in his studies led him to think of 
becoming a doctor. On revisiting his father, however, he 
found the practice of physic did not become a paying one in 
his hands, and so he once more returned to his favourite 
subject of astronomy. Having discovered the cause of 
eclipses, he drew up a scheme to shoAv the motions and 
places of the sun and moon in the ecliptic on each day of the 
year. This Astronomical Rotula, on being submitted to Pro- 
fessor Maclaurin, Edinburgh, won for him the assistance and 
friendship of that gentleman. In the beginning of 1743 he 
made a very neat orrery, of which all the wheels were of 
ivory, and in May of that year he took it with him to London, 
and sold it to Sir Dudley Rider. 

Ferguson was soon brought into public notice by the Presi- 
dent of the Royal Society. In 1747 he published a disserta- 
tion on the phenomena of the harvest moon, with the 
description of a new orrery, in which there are only four 
wheels. Next year he began to deliver public lectures, and 
amongst his hearers was King George iii., then a boy. Re- 
garding some of the astronomical machines which he made 
he says: ' The best machine I ever contrived is the eclipsareon, 
of which there is a figure in the thirteenth plate of my 
Astronomy. It shows the time, quantity, duration, and pro- 
gress of solar eclipses at all parts of the earth. My next 
best contrivance is the universal dialing cylinder, of Avhich 
there is a figure in the eighth plate of the supplement to my 
Mechanical Lectures' 

He was soon elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the 
usual fees in his case being remitted. He died on 16th 

1 Hist. MS. Com., 13th Report, App. Part vii. 


November 1776. In his whole career he presents a wonder- 
ful instance of unwearied application to study, a benevolent 
and meek disposition, simple urbanity of manner, and a 
gentle Christian piety. Mr. Capel Leoft in his ' Eudosia, a 
Poem on the Universe,' thus writes of the astronomer : — 

' Nor shall thy guidance not conduct our feet, 
honoured shepherd of our later days ! 
Thee, from the flocks, while thy untutored soul, 
Mature in childhood, traced the starry course, 
Astronomy, enamoured, gently led 
Through all the splendid labyrinths of heaven, 
And taught thee her stupendous laws ; and clothed 
In all the light of fair simplicity. 
Thy apt expression.' 

It was truly said of him — ' He was a man of a very clear 
judgment in anything that he professed, and of unwearied 
application to study ; benevolent, meek, and innocent in his 
manners as a child ; humble, courteous, and communicative ; 
instead of pedantry, philosophy seemed to produce in him 
only diffidence and urbanity — a love for mankind, and for 
his Maker.' 

The following are the notices in the Fasti Scoticance 
Ecclesice of Fergusons who have been parish ministers in 
Aberdeenshire : — 

Grathie and Braemar. 

16 — . Alexander Ferries or Ferguson, adm. before 1st 
November 1633 : he was recommended to Parliament, by the 
30th July 1649, for the reparation of his losses, by whom an 
act was passed in his favour the day following: continued 
21st October 1662. He married Christian Auchterlony, who 
was alive in 1671, and had a daughter Agnes, who married 
James Farquharson of Inverey. — [Spalding Miscel. iii. ; Reg. 
Old Dec. ; Kirh Pap. ; Acts of Ass. and Pari. vi. ; Syn. and 
Test. Reg. (St. And.) ; Douglas's Baronage^ 

1700. Adam Fergussone, A.M., descended from the house of 
Dunfallandy; educated at the parish school of Weem; obtained 


his degree at the University of St. AndreAvs, 22nd July 1693 ; 
hcensed by the Presbytery, 24th July (the first on the 
record) 1700; called by them jure devoluto 11th, and 
ordained 25th September same year; translated to Logierait 
in 1714. — [Act. Beet Univ. St. And. ; Presb. Skye Fresh, and 
Syn. Reg.; Fergusson's Tracts; Assembly Fapers; Lee's 
Memorial ; Chambers s Biogr. Diet, ii ; New Stat. Ace. xii.] 

Glenmuick, Glengairden, and Tullich. 

16 — . John Ferries or Fergusone, A.M., obtained his degree 
at the University and King's College, Aberdeen, in 1642 ; 
adm. previous to 21st October 1651. He preached at Glen- 
muick instead of Tullich, 3rd March 1667, 'by reason of the 
loose men in the country,' and 16th March 1673, 'because 
of the extremitie of the waters of Muick and Dee.' The 
communion should have been celebrated 7th April 1672, but 
was stopped through the 'stormie day, and through the trouble 
in the country by Highlanders.' His turn of supply falling to 
Glenmuick, 6th April 1673, the minister ' preached at Crathie 
in respect of the Micrayes who lyes near the parochin in force,' 
and afterwards ' catechised a part of the people of Micray ' : 
continued 22nd June 1681. — [Fasti Aberd. Syn. and Sess. 
Beg. ; Reg. Old Dec. ii., etc. 

1869. New Pitsligo {Deer) q.s. John M'Gregor Fergus- 
son, AM. 


1364. Confirmation by David ii. of a charter by Thomas, Earl 
of Mar, 'Egoni filio Fergusii,' of the lands of Huchtirerne, in 

At Kildrummy, 9th Sept., in the thirty-sixth year of the king's 
reign. — (Beg. Mag. Sig., fol. vol.) 

1465. Eobert Ferguson, vicar of Logie (Coldstone), a witness 
to a charter of Henry Forbes of Kinellar. — (Sp. Club, Ant. of Ah. 
and Banff, iii. 241, and iv. 401.) 


1494. Alexander of Fergussoun appears as sub-tenant of John 
of Gordoun in the lands of Kindrochit, in the barony of Kynedwart. 
— (Sp. Club, Ant. of Ah. and Banff, ii. 393.) 

1507. John Uchtirarne retoured as heir-male ' quondam Egonis 
Fergusone, domini de Ouchtirarne.' — (Sp. Club, Ant. of Ah. and 
Banff, ii. 12.) 

1506-7. Charter by the king to the daughters of John Ochtirarn 
and their husbands, John Skene and Alexander Coutts, of the lands 
of Auchtirarn, with the Black Mill, ' que regi pertinere direte sunt 
tanquam comiti de Mar et ultimo heredi, ex eo quod, date fuerunt 
per quond. Thomam com. de Mar quond. Egoni filio Fergusio et 
heredibus masculis ejus de corpore legitimis procreatis, et nullus 
ejusdem heres masc. superfuit cognitus.' 

Edinburgh, 18 Feb. 1506-7.— (i?^^. Mag. Sig. 3063 and 3064.) 

7th August 1594. Bond by William Douglas of Glenbervie for 
William Fowlair and James Mowat, not to harm certain burgesses 
and inhabitants of Inrowrie, including Eobert, James, James 
(elder), and Thomas Fergus. — {P.O. Reg. v., p. 631.) 

8th July 1600. Confirmation of a charter by which Thomas 
Mezies de Durne sold to David Fergussoun, burgess of Aberdeen, 
and Marjorie Buchan, his spouse, in liferent, and George Fergus- 
soun, son of the said David, in fee, the lands of Kirkhill, in the 
parish of Nigg, Kincardineshire. — {Reg. Mag. Sig.) 

1609. Action by William Fergus, burgess of Inverurie, and 
others, against James Arbuthnot, apparent of Lentusche, for re- 
maining unrelaxed from a horning of 24th June 1606, for not 
finding caution for their indemnity. — {P.O. Reg. viii.) 

1610. William Fergus and others in Inverurie are given 
caution for ' to answer before the Council on 26th July next to 
the complaint of Johne Mortimer, burgess of Aberdeen, for their 
alleged pursuing him with hagbuts and pistolets for his life.' — 
{P.C. Reg. ix.) 

1610. They were put to the horn for not answering, but the 
said horning was suspended at their instance. — {P.O. Reg. ix.) 

July 1610. Complaint of assault against Walter Fergus in 
Enrowrie. — {P.O. Reg. xi. p. 64.) 


30 Jan. 1619. Confirmation of a charter to John Urquhart of 
Craigfintry in liferent, and Patrick Urquhart, his son, of Lethintie, 
which M. Duncan Forbes, formerly of Lethintie, then of Balnagask, 
and John F., his eldest son, with consent of Marjorie Fergusone, 
his spouse, had resigned in fulfilment of a contract made at Aber- 
deen on 13th Nov. 1618.— (i^e^. Mag. Sig., vi. 2046.) 

March 14, 1637. Georgius Fergussoun heres Eoberti Fergusoun 
burgensis de Abirdein patris. — (Betours.) 

Sept. 6, 1644. Patricius heres Patricii F. mercatoris burgensis 
in Abirdene. — (Betours.) 

12th April 1655. Confirmation of a charter to William Ferguson 
in Crichie of all and haill the town and lands of Badifurro, with 
the manor place, etc., the salmon-fishings in the water of Don, and 
the lands of Woodhill, both sunny and shadow, with multures and 
power to build a mill, lying in the parish of Inverurie, barony of 
Fintray, and regality of Lindores.— (i?e^. Mag. Sig., MS.) 



The name, though not very numerous, has had its repre- 
sentatives in Fife and in Angus, whose history contributes 
incidents of interest. From Dundee came David Fergusson, 
the Reformer, to labour in Dunfermline, and his male line 
ended in the person of an Angus minister, who is liuked by 
kindly ties, which were a poor substitute for a lost son, to 
other famous men of the name. A Robert Fergusson repre- 
sented Inverkeithing in the Parliaments of 1579 and 1587 ; 
and from a letter to King Charles ii., preserved among the 
MSS. in the British Museum, it appears that in 1675 a David 
Ferguson was representative, or Provost, of the Burgh of 
Kirkcaldy. There seem to have been three generations of 
David Fergusons then connected with Kirkcaldy, for in 
December 1679 David Ferguson was served heir of Master 
David Ferguson, student of divinity, his father. Sarah 
Bessie, and Mary Fergusons were served heirs of David 
Ferguson, their brother, in March 1680 ; of David Ferguson, 
lately Provost of Kirkcaldy, their grandfather, in March 
1699 ; and heirs-portioners of Mr. David Ferguson, divinity 
student, only son of David Ferguson, formerly Provost of 
Kirkcaldy, their father. Mr. David Fergusson, a youth of 
great promise and a native of Kirkcaldy, ' was snatched away 
by an early death.' He published a small volume, dedicated 
to John, Duke of Lauderdale, entitled Ejyithalamiuon Mysti- 
cuTii sive Analysis Critico-practica Cantici Canticorum, 
printed at Edinburgh in 1677, of which the original MS., 


bearing the date 1673 and marked Ex dono Authoris, is 
preserved in the University Library. 

The family of Raith is traced to a James Ferguson, who 
was Bailie of Inverkeithing in 1689, whose son, Robert, 
purchased Raith, it would seem, after his father's death in 

One family shows an interesting succession of parish 
ministers, running practically from the Revolution to the 
Disruption. In 1716, David Fergusson was called jure 
devoluto — i.e. by the Presbytery in face of local opposition, 
probably based on Episcopalian sympathies — to the parish 
of Farnell. In 1751 his son, David Fergusson, was admitted 
his assistant and successor, and he survived to 1793. His 
son Andrew became minister of Maryton, or Old Montrose, in 
1795, after having been assistant to his father at Farnell; 
and his son, David Scott Fergusson, became minister of 
Strachan in 1835. Both father and son ' went out ' in 


The following account of the family of Raith, has been 
communicated by Mr. R. C. Munro-Ferguson, M.R, of Raith 
and Novar : — 

' Raith has been inhabited by the Fergusons since 1723, 
when it passed out of the hands of the first Earl of Melville, 
whose family had possessed it several hundred years, into 
those of Robert Ferguson, the eldest son of James Ferguson, 
who in 1689 was Bailie of Inverkeithing. 

' Robert acquired a large fortune in the East India trade, 
but he must also have inherited considerable wealth, as he 
was only thirty- six when he purchased Raith. Later, he also 
bought the estate of Arrochar on Loch Lomond. One of 
the circumstances which probably attracted him to Raith 
was the near neighbourhood of his sister, who had married 
Dundas of Bogie, a place adjoining Raith. He does not 
seem to have had much taste for a country life, and most of 


his days were spent in Austin Friars, London, where in 1725 
he married Miss Townsend of Honington at the Chapel Royal, 
St. James's. He brought his wife, however, to see his north- 
ern possessions, and it is recorded that, on her first visit, she 
entered Raith riding on a pillion behind the oldest tenant 
of the estate. They are both represented at Raith in two 
portraits by Kneller. 

' He had no sons, and the estate passed at his death to his 
nephew, William Berry, who then assumed his name and 
arms. William was younger brother to the father of the Miss 
Berry s, so well known in London society. These ladies were 
the intimate friends of Horace Walpole, Avho, as he himself 
says, offered " his hand and his heart " to Mary Berry, and 
^' his hand and his coronet " to Agnes, but unsuccessfully in 
both cases. The two sisters remained single to the end of 
their long lives. In London they were the centre of a circle 
which included most of the intellectual and political people 
of the day, and every evening their drawing-room was open 
to their friends, who gathered there certain of always finding 
interesting and entertaining company. Among their habitues 
were Macaulay, Sydney Smith, Thackeray, Lord John Russell, 
Lord Lansdo^vne, Mrs. Norton, and many others. Their 
portraits by Zoffany and Swinton, and their books — many of 
them given by Horace Walpole — are now at Raith. 

' William Ferguson, " the usurper," as he was considered by 
his more famous nieces (to whom, however, he and his suc- 
cessors made a generous and lifelong allowance of £1000 a 
year), was devoted to Raith. It was he who laid out most 
of the park, made the lake, and planted the woods. He was 
also considered one of the leading men of his day in agri- 
culture, and gave much consideration to the improvement of 
his farm -land. At Raith he is also commemorated by certain 
erections known as " follies," which crown the various emi- 
nences of the park. He lived to a good old age, and it is 
said that when seventy he was Avarned that he would die if 
he continued to drink claret ; so he took to toast and water, 
and survived for fourteen years. There is a picture by 
Zoffany at Raith which represents him in his more festive 
days entertaining his friends on the occasion of his succeeding 


to the estate. They are gathered round a table bearing 
materials for health-drinking, while ZofFany has painted him- 
self sitting at the table and joining in the celebration. The 
hospitality of Raith in his days is recorded in the remini- 
scences of a friend, who " minded the day when eleven hogs- 
heads of one particular kind of claret came to the port of 
Leith : and ten of them went to Raith." Raeburn painted two 
portraits of William and one of his wife — Miss Craufurd of 
Restalrig — with her two children. These are all at Raith. 


' He was succeeded by Robert, his son, who was born in 
1770, and who married in 1808 (after the dissolution of her 
marriage with the seventh Earl of Elgin) Mary, the only 
daughter and heiress of Hamilton Nisbet of Beil and Archer- 
field. He was a man of literary and scientific tastes, and 
made a fine collection of books, pictures, and minerals. These 
tastes were cultivated during his enforced stay in France as 
a detenu at the time of the war, where he made friends with 
Cuvier and collected minerals, discovering one which was 
named after him. He was released through the intervention 


of Fox with Napoleon. He was Lord-Lieutenant of Fife, 
and durinsf his time Raith became a centre for the in- 
tellectual and interesting society which in those days 
existed in Edinburgh. Sir David Wilkie, the celebrated 
painter, calls Raith "the Holland House of Scotland," 
and the stray glimpses to be gathered from old letters 
and memoires give a delightful idea of the society which 
assembled there. One of these is to be found in a little 
book entitled Mystifications, by Miss Graham of Duntrune, 
a representative of Claverhouse, who was celebrated for her 
marvellous impersonations of Scottish characters. She says : 
" From TuUiallan we removed to Raith to bring in the New 
Year. A very brilliant party was assembled. The gentlemen 
enjoyed the pleasures of the battue in the mornings, and we 
sat down to dinner upwards of twenty every day." She then 
proceeds to give an account of one of her successful im- 
personations. Among other interesting people who stayed 
at Raith was Landseer, who has left a charming souvenir of 
his visit in the shape of two sketches of a Scotch and a 
French pig, in which the latter is very unfavourably con- 
trasted with the former. 

' Robert Ferguson was, like all his people, a strong Whig, 
and nightly toasted a picture of Fox by Opie which hung 
in his dining-room. Whigs not being popular at that time 
in Scotland he had some difficulty in finding a seat in 
Parliament. He was, however, elected in 1806 for Fifeshire, 
sat afterwards for Kirkcaldy, and in 1835 was returned for 
Haddington. A story is told of him that, being asked by 
George iv., " Have you ever heard a speech that has changed 
your opinion ? " he replied, " My opinion often, sir ; my vote, 
never." ^ He died in 1840. A memorial tablet was placed 
in the kirk at Abbotshall by his Raith tenantry, and a statue 
was erected to his memory at Haddington. 

'He was succeeded by his brother. Sir Ronald, who, however, 
only survived him a few months. Sir Ronald was born in 
1773, and entered the army in 1790. He served his country 
in almost every quarter of the globe. At the taking of the 
Cape of Good Hope he commanded the flank corps ; and he 

^ A similar declaration is attributed to James Ferguson of Pitfour, a Tory. 


was present, in command of the Highland Brigade, at its 
recapture in 1810. He was second in command at Cadiz, 
and in 1814 in Holland. In the battles of Roli^a and 
Yimiera in 1808 he exhibited proof of such high military 
talents, and such great personal intrepidity, as to gain the 
commendation of his commander. Sir Arthur Wellesley, and 
to call forth a flattering eulogium in the vote of thanks 
from the House of Commons conveyed to him on this 

'In the debate on the vote of thanks, January 25, 1809, 
Mr. Adam said that he " knew from the best authority that 
Sir Arthur Wellesley had asserted that the intrepid gallantry 
and conduct with which General Ferguson had led on his 
troops to the charge was the finest thing he had seen in his 
military services." Mr. Whitbread said that he " agreed most 
cordially with the honourable gentleman in the sentiments 
he had expressed with regard to General Ferguson. He was 
satisfied that Sir A. Wellesley and General Ferguson must be 
handed down to posterity as the most distinguished heroes of 
Vimiera." On February 6 General Ferguson attended, and 
the Speaker read the resolution which had already been 
adopted : " That the thanks of the House be given to Major- 
General Ferguson for his skilful and gallant exertions against 
the enemy in the battles of Eoliga and Vimiera, by which he 
reflected so much lustre on His Majesty's troops." 

' Major-General Ferguson replied that, " Having ever con- 
sidered that the greatest reward which a soldier can receive 
is the approbation of his country, the thanks of the House 
must be received by him with gratitude and pride. He was 
well aware, however, that he owed this honour not to his own 
merit but to his singular good fortune in commanding such 
ofiicers and such men as were placed under his immediate 
orders, and in being himself under the orders of a General 
whose talents, decision, and bravery justly secured to him 
the confidence of every man in his army. Could anything in 
his mind enhance the value of the thanks of the House, 
it would be the very handsome, but too flattering, 
terms in which the Speaker had been pleased to convey 


'Wellington's regard for General Ferguson is proved by his 
having insisted on appointing him to a military post when 
the King desired to give it to a nominee of his own. The 
story is that one day George iv. said to the Duke : " Arthur, 

there is a regiment vacant. Gazette Lord to it." " It is 

impossible, please your Majesty," Wellington replied. " There 
are generals who have seen more service now advanced in 


life, whose turn should first be served." " Never mind that, 

Arthur ; gazette Lord ," said the King. The Duke bowed ; 

and, ''going to London, he gazetted Sir Ronald Ferguson, 
whose services entitled him to the vacancy. It should be 
added that at the time Sir Ronald was in the House, voting 
constantly with the Whigs, while the Duke of Wellington 


was leader of the Tory party. Sir Ronald also received the 

'Himself a soldier, he married the daughter of another 
distinguished General, Sir Hector Munro, who, while Com- 
mander-in-Chief in India, won the battle of Buxar, and 
wrested Pondicherry from the French. A beautiful ivory 
and gold jewel-box, which had belonged to Hyder Ali, one of 
the trophies of Sir Hector's Indian career, was brought by 
his daughter to Raith. 

' Sir Ronald entered Parliament as Member for Nottingham, 
which he represented for many years. He was said to be one 
of the handsomest men in the army, and three beautiful 
portraits of him in his youth were painted by Raeburn. 
There is also a portrait of him in later life by Colvin Smith, 
and a full-length miniature by Cos way. 

'Lord Cockburn has left an entry referring to the two 
brothers in his journal. He says : " 18 April 1841. Robert 
Ferguson of Raith died in December last, and his brother. 
General Sir Ronald Ferguson, died on the tenth of this pre- 
sent month : two admirable Scotch Whigs. These two men 
showed what good may be effected by mere steadiness of 
principle and its honest exhibition, for without any superiority 
of knowledge, talents, or original influence, public principle 
alone, fearlessly but temperately enforced on proper occasions, 
and softened by agreeable manners and very amiable acts, 
enabled them powerfully to advocate the Scotch cause at a 
time when political independence had few attractions, either 
for military officers or for country gentlemen. The General had 
a safe English seat, and, after the peace of 1815, he and Lord 
Archibald Hamilton were the two most strenuous defenders 
of Scotland in the House. The Parliamentary struggles of 
this manly and disinterested soldier, unadorned as they were 
by eloquence and consequently prompted by no ambition of 
display, and cheered at that time by very little hope of suc- 
cess, but proceeding solely from the impulse of right opinions 
and a gallant spirit, did honour to the whole army. Nothing 
could be more beautiful than the mutual affection of these 
handsome, gentleman-like, and popular brothers, whose 
patriotism, indeed, was. more graced by their private virtues 


than it could liaA'e been by any splendour of ability. The 
importance of two gentlemen of their character and situation 
to the side that they espoused can only be understood by 
those who acted in Scotch affairs before the Reform Bill 
emancipated the country." 

' Sir Ronald Avas succeeded by his son Robert, born in 1802. 
He was also a soldier, and at one time commanded the 79th 
Highlanders. After leaving the army he sat in Parliament as 
Liberal from 1841 to 1861. For the greater part of that 
time he represented the Kirkcaldy Burghs, defeating on one 
occasion Mr., now Sir Wilham, Harcourt, who stood as a 
Radical, after a stiff contest in which the Raith miners took 
part as preservers of order. He, however, was not an active 
politician, and devoted most of his time to the care of his 
estates — those of Novar, Muirton, and Culcairn having become 
his on the death of Mr. Munro, the owner of the celebrated 
Xovar collection of pictures. Colonel Ferguson married late 
in life the granddaughter of Mr. Mandeville, a diplomatist, 
and was succeeded in 1868 by his son Ronald, the present 
proprietor, then a child of eight. Mr. Munro-Ferguson served 
for five years in the Guards, and then resigned his commission 
to enter Parliament. He sat for Ross-shire in 1884, but was 
defeated in 1885. In 1886 he was returned for the Leith 
Burghs, which he has smce represented. He married in 
1889 Helen Hermione, daughter of the Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava. 

' Raith House stands on a hill 500 feet high, said to have 
been the site of one of Macduff's castles. It commands a 
fine view of the Forth, Avith Edinburgh in the distance, the 
Pentland Hills, the Lammermuirs, and the Bass Rock on the 
horizon. The park is beautiful from the lie of the ground, 
and has been embellished by the plantations of successive 
proprietors, and by the formation of an artificial lake at the 
foot of the hill on which the house stands. The house itself 
has not much architectural merit. The central portion bears 
the date 1694 ; the two wings are later, but not more artistic 

' There are several places of historical interest at Raith ; 
one, the ruined tower of Balwearie, said to have been the 


actual residence of Michael Scott, the Wizard of the 
North ; another, the farm of the Grange, once the home of 
that intrepid soldier, Kirkcaldy of Grange, who defended 
Edinbm*gh Castle in the interests of Queen Mary, and 
was one of the assassins of Cardinal Beaton. The Raith 
gardens were also the site of the country-house and fish- 
ponds of the abbots of DunfermHne, after whom the 
parish of Abbotshall is named ; and on a field just out- 
side the park was fought the last political duel that 
took place in Scotland, between Sir Alexander Boswell and 
Stuart of Dunearn, which resulted in the death of the 

We add the account of the family given in Burke's Landed 
Gentry (1894) :— 

' The Fergusons of Raith are of good standing in Fife, and have 
possessed the estate from which they derive their designation since 
the death of the first Earl of Melville, to whom it belonged up to 

'James Ferguson, BaiHe of Inverkeithing in 1689, m. Agnes 
Stewart, and had issue — 

Robert, his heir. 

Barbara, bapt. at Inverkeithing, 19th Nov. 1G89. 

Elizabeth, bapt. at same place, 5th Jan. 1694, m. John Dundas 

of Wester Bogie, co. Fife, younger son of John Dundas of 

Manor, and d. s.iJ. 
Agnes, m. David Berry, of Edinburgh, merchant, and had 

issue — 

Robert Berry, m. the daughter of John Seton, Esq. of 
Parbroath (sister of Isabella, Lady Cayley, wife of 
Sir Thomas Cayley, fifth Baronet of Brompton), and 
had two daughters, Mary and Agnes Berry. 

James Berry. 

WiUiam Berry, of Austin Friars, London, who assumed 
by royal licence, dated 12th Jan, 1782, the surname 
and arms of Ferguson on succeeding to the estate of 

Katherine,m. 26th Sept. 1764, Rev. Alex. Spears, of Kirk- 
caldy, and d. 9th Nov. 1813. 


' The only son, 
Robert Ferguson of Raith, bapt. at Inverkeithing, 16th Dec. 
1690, was served heir of his father, 21st June 1731, and pur- 
chased Raith, in the parish of Abbotshall, co. Fife. He mar- 
ried at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, 11th March 1725, Mary, 
daughter of Joseph Townsend, and d. s.p. 18th Dec. 1781, 
when he was s. by his nephew, 

' William Ferguson, Esq. of Raith, m. Jane, daughter of Ronald 
Craufurd, Esq. of Restalrig, and sister of Margaret, Countess 
of Dumfries, and was s. at his death by his eldest son, 

' Robert Ferguson, Esq. of Raith, M.P., and Lord-Lieutenant 
of the CO. of Fife, m. Mary, only child and heiress of William 
Hamilton Nisbet, Esq. of Dirleton, co. Haddington (her pre- 
vious marriage with Thomas, seventh Earl of Elgin, having 
been dissolved by Act of Parliament 1808), but by her had no 
issue. Mr. Ferguson died 3rd Dec. 1840, and was succeeded 
by his brother, 

'General Sir Ronald Craufurd Ferguson, G.C.B., M.P. for 
Nottingham, who then became of Raith. This gallant and 
highly distinguished officer, who was h. at Raith House 1773, 
entered the army in 1790 as ensign in the 53rd Foot, and 
served his country in almost every quarter of the globe. He 
commanded the flank corps at the taking of the Cape of Good 
Hope, and was present at its re-capture at the head of the 
Highland Brigade. In 1810 he was second in command at 
Cadiz, and in 1814 in Holland. At the battles of Rolica and 
Vimiera (1808) he exhibited proof of such high military talents 
and such great personal intrepidity as to gain the commenda- 
tion of his commander. Sir Arthur Wellesley, and to call forth 
a flattering eulogium in the vote of thanks from the House of 
Commons conveyed to him on these occasions. Sir Ronald 
m. Jean, daughter of General Sir Hector Munro, K.C.B., of 
Novar, co. Ross, and dying 10th April 1841, aged 72, was 
s. by his son, 

' Col. Robert Munro-Ferguson of Raith, co. Fife, and Novar, 
CO. Ross, M.P. for the Kirkcaldy Burghs from 1841 to 1861, 
and Lt.-Col. commanding 79th Highlanders, h. 20th Aug. 
1802, m. 7th May 1859, Emma, daughter of the late James 
Henry Mandeville, Esq. of Merton, Surrey, and had issue, 
' Ronald Craufui-d Munro, now of Raith and Novar. 
'Hector Munro, h. 2nd Feb. 1866. 


Eobert Henry Munro, b. 8th June 1867. 

Alice Edwina Munro, m. 1886 Alexander Luttrell, eldest 

son of G. F. Luttrell of Dunster, and has two sons. 
Emma Valentine Munro. 
Edith Isabel Munro. 
'He succeeded to the estates of Novar, Eoss-shire, and 
Muirton, Morayshire, in 1864, on the death of the late Hugh 
Andrew Munro, Esq. Colonel Ferguson d. 28th Nov. 1868, 
when he was succeeded by his eldest son, 

'Eonald Crawford Munro Ferguson of Eaith, Novar, and 
Muirton, b. 6th March 1860, late Lieut. Grenadier Guards, 
M.P. for Eoss and Cromarty 1884-5, elected M.P. for Leith 
1886, m. 31st Aug. 1889 Lady Helen Hermione Blackwood, 
eldest daughter of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava.' 


The kingdom of Fife was the home, even if Dundee was the 
birthplace, of the distinguished Scottish divine, the Eeverend 
David Fergusson, minister of Dunfermline (to which charge 
he was appointed in 1560), one of the leading Scottish Eefor- 
mers. He describes himself as ' one of the six who first put 
their hands to the work.' He was Moderator of the General 
Assembly in 1573, and again in 1578, and is said to have been 
remarkable for his combination of sagacity, firmness, and 
knowledge, with a pleasant and humorous disposition, which 
made him a useful representative of the kirk in negotiations 
with the court. He is said to have begun the History of the 
Church of Scotland, which was carried out by his son-in-law, 
Eow, and the perusal of a sermon of his by John Knox upon 
his deathbed, produced the quaint and emphatic recommen- 
dation from the old Eeformer — ' John Knox, with my dead 
hand but glad heart praising God that of His mercy He 
leaves such light to His Kirk in this desolation.' David 
Fergusson was not a voluminous writer, but he has left some 
ecclesiastical publications, which have been printed by the 
Bannatyne Club. He was the author of the first collection of 
Scottish Froverhs, for which he had a great liking, and it was 
said that he both spoke and preached in proverbs. It is, 
however, by his wise and witty observations, especially those 



dropped in Royal interviews, that he is best known. It was he 
who gave to the bishops appointed, while the revenues of the 
sees were drawn by laymen, the name of ' Tulchan Bishops,' 
and who answered King James, when he asked why the Master 
of Gray's house shook during the night, — ' Why should the 
Devil not rock his ain bairns ? ' He described the proposal 
for the reintroduction of Episcopacy, as like ' the busking up 
of the brave horse ' for the overthrow of Troy, and declared 
that ' he would, with the brethren who had given good warn- 
ing, cry " Equo ne credite Teucri." ' In an interview with 
the King, referring to the feuds that were prevalent, he 
observed that it w^as the surnames that made all the commo- 
tion. 'If you go to surnames,' he said, jocularly, 'I will 
reckon with the best of you in antiquity, for King Fergus was 
the first king in Scotland, and I am Fergus-son ; but always, 
sir, because you are an honest man, and hath the possession, 
I wiU give you my right.' This, it is said, put King James 
in a good humour, and he exclaimed, — ' See, will you hear 
him !' 

The account of this interview exhibits a remarkable com- 
bination of plain speaking with a tact on Fergusson's part, 
which diverted the discussion into a humorous vein, com- 
plimented the king on his metrical version of the 110th 
Psalm, or checked his colleagues when they appeared to be 
' going too far ' in their ' severe remarks.' Yet while Fergusson 
showed a proper respect to his sovereign, he did not hesitate 
to speak wholesome truths to some of the royal favourites. 
Turning^ to Colonel Stewart he exhorted him to beware what 
counsel he gave to the King ; ' for assure yourself,' he said, 
' if you counsel him to place and displace the nobility as you 
please, they will not bear it at your hands who is but a mean 

Row thus records a conversation between Fergusson and 
King James vi., on bishops : — ' David,' said James vi. to him 
one day, ' why may not I have bishops in Scotland as well as 
they have in England ? ' ' Yea, sir,' replied Fergusson, ' ye 
may have bishops here — but, remember, ye must mak' us all 
bishops, else will ye never content us ; for if ye set up ten or 
twelve loons over honest men's heads (honest men will not 


have your anti-Christian prelacies), and give them more 
thousands to debauch and misspend than honest men have 
hundreds or scores, we will never all be content. We are all 
Paul's bishops, sir — Christ's bishops; haud us as we are.' 
' The de'il hait ails you,' replied the King, ' but that ye would 
all be alike ; ye cannot abide ony to be abune ye.' ' Sir,' said 
the minister, ' do not ban ' (swear.) 

' Fergusson,' says Anderson, in the Scottish Nation, ' is sup- 
posed to have been descended from a respectable family of 
that surname in Ayrshire.' There seems to be no evidence of 
this, and it would rather appear that he was a native of 
Dundee, as he and others within the burgh of Dundee were 
summoned in 1558 for disputing upon erroneous opinions, and 
eating flesh during Lent. He was originally a glover by 
trade, a fact not lost sight of in the attacks of the Romish 
controversialists ; but, according to Wodrow, ' gave up business 
and went to school ' in order to qualify as a preacher. 

' Having on one occasion presented to the King and Council 
a petition for augmentation of stipend, he was mortified by 
having it returned to him endorsed with the unpromising 
words, Sicut ante. Some time afterwards the King, passing 
through Dunfermline, saw the old minister going through the 
ungraceful process of dressing hides, and asked somebody if 
he had lost his wits : whereupon Mr. David overhearing the 
question, promptly replied that he was endeavouring to fulfil 
his Majesty's commands by returning to his original trade, 
and thus gaining his bread Sicnt ante — " as before." James 
is said to have engaged to have his petition more favourably 
backed when it next came before him.' 

Though apparently never at a university, he was well 
acquainted with Latin and Greek, and his vigorous, senten- 
tious, and lively Scottish style was illustrated by classical 

Ferguson was probably born before 1525. In 1560, when 
the first appointment was made of Reformed ministers, he 
was selected for Dunfermline, and he sat in the first General 
Assembly, held in December of that year. He usually served 
on all important commissions, and for many years was one 
of the assessors to the moderator, who prepared matters for 


the Assembly. He was one of the ministers who waited on 
Morton before his execution in 1581. His published works 
consist oi An Answer to the Epistle of Renat Benedict to 
John Knox and the rest of his Brethren, a most able and 
vigorous statement of the position of the Scottish Reformers ; 
of a ' Sermon preached before the Regent and Nobilitie at 
Leith, in 1572/ which contains an eloquent and straightforward 
expostulation on the subject of the Church's right to the 
teinds, and has been described as 'a remarkable specimen 
of vigorous composition in the vernacular Scotch ' ; and the 
collection of Scottish proverbs which was pubHshed after his 
death. The first edition in 1641 was entitled : ' Scottish 
Proverbs gathered together by David Fergusone, some time 
Minister at Dunfermline, and put ordine cdphabetico when he 
departed this life, anno 1598.' Other editions were published 
in 1659, 1675, 1699, and 1706 ; the latter bearing the title, 
' Nine Hundred and Forty Scottish Proverbs, the greater part 
of which were first gathered together by David Ferguson, 
the rest since added.' He also left a diary containing a 
record of the principal ecclesiastical events of his time, which 
has been lost, but is probably to a large extent incorporated 
in his son-in-law, John Row's, History. 

In 1598 Fergusson was described as ' the auldest minister 
that tyme in Scotland.' James Melville thus records an 
address delivered to the Synod of Fife in May 1596. ' And 
sa David Fergusone, Pastor of Dunfermline, a reverend 
father, spak verie pleasandlie and comfortablie of the be- 
ginning and success of the ministrie: namelie, how that a 
few number, viz. onUe sax, whairof he was ane, sa mightilie 
went fordwart in the wark, but feir or cair of the warld, and 
prevalit, when thar was na name of stipend hard tell of; 
when the authoritie baith Ecclesiastik and Civill opponit 
themselves, and skarslie a man of name and estimatioun to 
tak the cause in hand.' He was, says Principal Lee, ' one 
of the boldest, most sagacious, and most amiable of the 
Reformers of the Church of Scotland.' Spottiswood says 
that ' he was a wise man and a good preacher,' and that ' he 
was jocund and pleasant in his disposition, which made him 
well regarded in Court and country.' ' By his pleasant and 


facetious conversation/ writes Wodrow, 'he often pleased 
and pacified the King when he was in a fury ' ; and his sound 
judgment and courteous manners were, throughout his hfe, 
constantly relied on by the Church in her negotiations with 
the Crown. 

Fergusson's answer to the Epistle of Renat Benedict was 
reprinted by the Bannatyne Club from the only copy known 
to exist, belonging to the University of Edinburgh. This 
was a small volume of forty-four leaves in black letter, with 
the title-page and last leaves supplied in manuscript from 
another copy. From the following note in the MS. Book of 
Donations it appears to have been presented, along with an 
original portrait of the author, which, unfortunately, cannot 
now be traced, to the University by one of his descendants. 

'24 April 1701. — Mr. John Row, Professor of Philosophy, 
gave to the library the picture of Mr. David Ferguson, 
Minister of Dunfermling and chaplain to King James vi., 
done on timber of a small oval form : he died 1598. Also 
a book of his writ in defence of the Reformation, in answer 
to ane Epistle of ane Renat Benedict, a French Doctor : it is 
printed at Edinburgh, 1563, in 12mo.' 

David Fergusson, soon after he became minister of Dun- 
fermline, was married to Isobel Durham, by whom he had 
nine children — five sons and four daughters. 

1. Margaret, born 31st May 1562, who on June 18th, 1581, 

married Master David Spens, minister of the Gospel 
at Orwell. 

2. William, born Sept. 10th, 1564. 

3. Patrick, born June 23rd, 1566. 

4. Robert, born Oct. 3rd, 1568. 

5. Janet, born Sept. 4th, 1570; married David Ramsay in 

April 1598. 

6. David, born Jan. 21st, 1572-3. 

7. John, born May 19th, 1574. 

8. Grizzell, born Feb. 19th, 1575-6; married in 1595 the 

Rev. John Row, minister of Carnock, son of John 
Row the Reformer. 

9. Isobell, born Feb. 24th, 1579-80. 

Of the sons, only William survived his father, who died on 


23rd August 1598, but it has been suggested that Robert 
may have been the Robert Fergusson who represented Inver- 
keithmg m Parliament in 1579 and 1587. His age makes 
this quite inadmissible. William Fergusson, the eldest son 
was an M.A., but not a minister, for while his father left him 
his books on natural history, he left all his ' buiks of theo- 
logie and human history ' to his two reverend sons-in-law 
ordaining them to 'satisfie' their brother-in-law, David Ramsay, 
who appears to have been a layman. This William Fergusson 
has been identified with Mr. William Fergusson, physician 
and bailie in Dundee, whose name occurs as a member of 
the General Assembly in 1600 and 1601. An inscription 
exists which appears in part to commemorate a visitation of 
the plague, and is as follows : — 

' To Mr. William Ferguson, Physician and Bailie in Dundee, 
and Euphemia Kinloch his dearest parents : also to seven 
brothers and sisters german, Avho died by the disturbed order 
of nature : likewise for himself and Helen Duncan, his lawful 
wife, the surviving William Ferguson, merchant, raised this 
monument to their pious memory. Mr. William Ferguson 
died 25th March 1627, aged 64 years, and Euphemia Kinloch 
died 6th June 1603 (1623) aged 57 years.' 

There seems, curiously enough, to have been another 
William Fergusson, also a doctor of medicine and bailie in 
Dundee, at the same time. He is identified by the name of 
his wife, who was Catherine Wedderburn, and whose name 
appears in a charter of the lands of Balbeuchlie granted to 
him in February 1615. He seems to have survived till May 
1663, when his daughter Magdalene, spouse of John Duncan 
the younger, burgess of Dundee, was served heir to him. 

Whether or not William Ferguson, physician and bailie, 
and WilUam Ferguson his son, merchant in Dundee, were 
the links in the chain, it is certain that Mr. David Fergusson, 
minister at Strathmartin or Strickmartin in Angus, was 
the great-grandson of the Reformer. He registered his 
arms between 1672 and 1678,^ and was one of the Episcopal 
clergy whose cases were dealt with after the Revolution, 
though he appears to have been continued in his benefice. 

* See chap. xiii. 



Adam Fergusson, afterwards minister at Logierait, records ^ 
his obligations to this Mr. David Fergusson, who, having 
no nearer relative than a niece, ' and being very clannish, 
was much inclined to be beneficial to any of the name of 
Fergusson that were thought capable of a liberal education, 
especially after his only son was lost on the ice in the North 
Loch at Edinburgh.' Mr. David Fergusson, writer, was thus 
drowned on 11th February 1682. The Rev. David Fergusson 
died in 1696, and in 1699 Barbara Fergusone, spouse of 
Alexander Grahame of Kincaldrum, was served heir to him 
as his niece. The following account of one of his benefactions 
is preserved in a memoir published along with one edition ^ 
of Robert Fergusson the poet's works : — 

' Through the influence, it is understood, of Lord Findlater 
his father had obtained a presentation in favour of Robert to 
a mortification or bursary by the Rev. David Fergusson of 
Strathmartine, Avhich provided for the "maintenance and 
education of two poor male children " of his own surname at 
the Grammar School of Dundee and the College of St. Andrews. 
The deed appoints and ordains that " the two children of the 
quality foresaid, from the saide age of nine years untill they 
attain to fourteen years compleat, be maintained, educate, 
and brought up at the Grammar School of Dundee, and be 
hoarded with one of the surname of Fergusson, in case there 
be any that can do the same, and failzing of that in any 
other honest house within the said burgh of good repute, 
and that at such rates and prices yearly or quarterly as the 
said patrons and administrators shall think fitt; and be 
furnished (the saids children) Avith sufficient cloaths and 
necessaries for their bodies, head, and feet ; their coats being 
always of a grey colour lined with blue sleeves.' 


It has already been noted that on 7th February 1615 
Wilham Fergusone, Bailie of the Burgh of Dundee, had a 
charter of the lands of Balbeuchlie, in Forfar, in which his 
daughter was served heir to him in 1663. 

1 See chap. ii. p. 126. ^ igsi. 



Robert Arklay Fergusson, Esq. of Ethie-Beaton, Forfar- 
shire, is eldest son of tlie late Robert Fergiisson, Esq., by 
Matilda, daughter of Robert Arklay, Esq. of Ethie-Beaton; 
born 1851 ; succeeded his uncle, Robert Arklay, Esq., 1892 ; 
married, 1882, Dora Maud Carleton, daughter of J. A. Allan, 
Esq. of Kingston, Canada. 


1373. David fihus Fergusii, collector of the contributions of the 
quarter of Brechin. — {Exch. Rolls, vol. ii.) 

David Fergusson, minister of Dunfermline, suspends the master 
of the grammar school of the burgh : disallowed. — {P.O. Reg. ii, 
pp. 288, 289.) 

Complaint against Rev. David Fergusson. — {P.O. Reg, iii. pp. 
209-10, 237.) 

18 July 1611. Wm. Fergisoun, doctor of medicine in Dundee, 
and Catharine Wedderburn, his spouse.— (i?e^. Mag. Sig. vi. 536.) 

2 Jul. 1613. Mr. Wil. Fergussoun, burgess of Dundie, on an 
assize. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 881.) 

12 and 13 June 1612. M. Will. Fergussone, ballivo de Dundie, 
witness to a charter. — (Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. ]018.) 

7 Feb. 1615. Confirmation of a charter by which James Scrym- 
geour, feuar of Fardill, sold to William Fergusone, bailie of the 
burgh of Dundee, and Catherine Wedderburn, his spouse, the lands 
of Balbeuchlie, with fortalice manor, mill, mill lands, etc., the Tem- 
plar land adjacent, with the teinds, rectorial and vicar's, which never 
were in use to be separated, in the barony of Dunkeld. Vic. Forfar. 
— (Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 1177.) 

May 31st, 1663. Magdalena Fergusone, sponsa Joannis Dun- 
cane, junioris mercatoris burgensis de Dundie, hcEres Magistri Guli- 
elmi Fergussone de Balbeuchlie patris in terris de Balbeuchlie — terris 
templariis eisdem terris contigue coadjacentibus cum decimis in 
baronia Dunkeldensi. — {Retours, Forfar, 214.) 

Jan. 2, 1663. Elizabetha, Joneta et Isobella Ferguissones, heirs- 
portioners of their mother, Katherine Page, in half of the fullers' 
mill of Gaitmilk, and 4 acres annexed, parish of Kinglassie, regality 
of Dunfermline. — (Retours, Fife, 931.) 


Dec. 24, 1679. David Fergusone, hceres Magistri Fergusone, 
studentis Diyinitsitis patr is. — (Eetours Gen. 6173.) 

March 19, 1680. Sara Besseta et Maria Fergusones hseres 
portionarii Davidis Fergussone fratris. — (Eetours Gen. 6191.) 

March 9, 1698- . . . Davidis Fergusone nuper praepositi burgi 
de Kircaldie air ex parte patris. 

Aug. 24, 1699. Sara F., spojisa Thomae Oswald, senioris nautse 
burgensis burgi de Kirkcaldie, Besseta F., sponsa Archibaldi Arnot, 
apothecarii chirurgi in Kircaldie, et Maria F., h.p. Magistri Davidis 
Fergusone, Studentis Divinitatis in Kircaldie, unici filii Davidis 
Fergusone aliquando praepositi Kirkcaldie patris. 

(Gen. 8101.) May 20, 1699. Barbara Fergusone, sponsa Magistri 
Alexandri Grahame de Kincaldrum hmres Magistri Davidis Fergu- 
sone, ministri verbi Dei apud Strathmartine patrui. — (Eetours Gen. 

(From Scott's Fasti Scoticance Ecdesim.) 

Fife. Dunfermline. 

1560. David Fergussone, a native of Dundee, nominated by 
the Lords, etc., 19tli July : lie was a member of thirty-nine 
Assemblies, from 25th June 1563 to 10th May 1597 ; in two 
of these, 6th March 1572 and 24th Oct. 1578, he was elected 
Moderator. In 1567 Eossyth was also under his care ; in 1574 
Carnock and Baith, Eossyth being excluded. In 1576 he was 
appointed Visitor of the Bounds fromLeven to Cambuskenneth, 
the kirks of the Diocese of St. Andrews from Forth to Tay on 
both sides to Newburgh, and from that west, on the south side 
of the Ochils, the kirks of St. Andrews and Dunkeld. He 
died Father of the Church, 23rd August 1598, in advanced 
age. Though he had not been educated at a university, yet 
from his good taste and lively fancy, joined to his piety and 
integrity, he was highly useful in improving and enriching 
the Scottish language, and was a favourite with all classes. 
Beside the active share which he took in ecclesiastical affairs, 
he left a Diary, or Observations, which has not been preserved, 
but may have been the foundation of the History written by 
Kow, his son-in-law. ' The utencils, etc., by the airschip 


were estimat at xx. li. He was awand for his housemaill, anno 
1598, and sindrie terms preceding, xx. li. For the last half- 
year he had three women servants. His buiks of natural his- 
tory he bequeathed to his son Mr. William, and all his books 
of theologie and human history, estimat to j^ li., to his three 
sons-in-law, Mr. David Spens, Mr. John Row, and David 
Ramsay, ordaining the two former to satisfie the latter, " be- 
cause the buiks cannot be profitable to him." ' He married 
Isobel Durhame, and had five sons and four daughters : 
William, physician, Dundee; Patrick, Robert, David, John, 
Margaret, married Mr. David Spens, min. of Kirkcaldy ; Janet, 
Grisell, married Mr. John Row, min. of Camock, and Isobell. 
Publications. — 'An Answer to ane Epistle written by 
Renat Benedict the French Doctor, Professor of God's Word, 
to John Knox and the rest of his brethren, ministers of the 
Word of God.' Edin. 1563, sm. oct. ' Ane Sermon preichit 
before the Regent and Nobilitie upon a part of the 3^*^ chapter 
of the Prophet Malachi in the kirk of Leith. Sanctandrois, 
1572, sm. oct. ' Scottish Proverbs, gathered together.' Edin. 
1641, quarto. ' Tracts ' (printed for the Bannatyne Club, 1860). 
— [Spottiswood, Row, Keith, and Calderwood's Hist. Book of 
the Kirk, Sess. and Test. Reg., Reg. Min., Assig. and Deeds 
xxxiv., Excheq. Biiik ; Wodrow Miscell. ; Melville's Autobio. ; 
Scott's Reformers ; M'Crie's Knox and Melville ; Fernie and 
other Hist, of Dunfermline ; Henderson's Proverbs ; Thom- 
son's Dundee, etc.] 

Beath (Dunfermline). 

1815. James Fergusson, a native of Blair-Athole, lie. St. 
Andrews 1809, ord. Dalkeith, ass. at Inveresk 1813, pres. by 
Earl of Moray 1815 ; D.D. Glas. Un. 1848, and died 19th March 
1866 in his 85th year and 53rd min. Married, 3rd Feb. 1814, 
Catherine Mackie, who died 11th April 1866. Publication. — 
'Account of Parish' (New Stat. Ace. ix.) — [Pres. and Syn. 
Reg., etc.] 

Forfar. Strathmartin (Dundee), 

1664. David Fergusson, A.M., great-grandson of David Fer- 
gusson, min. of Dunfermline, grad. St. Andrews 1648, adm. prior 
to 18th May 1664, continued 6th Feb. 1689. After his death 


church declared vacant, 29th July 1696. He mortified in 1695 
vj"^ merks for two boys to be maintained at school, and, if 
capable, as bursars in St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, for 
four years. The patronage is vested in the Provost of Dundee, 
David Graham of Fintry, Sir James Kinloch of Kinloch, his 
niece Barbara Ferguson, wife of Mr. Alexander Graham of 
Kincaldrum, and their heirs and successors. — [Act Red. Tin. 
St. And. ; Pres. and St. And.rews Syn. Reg. ; Evidence on Tin. 
iii. ; Fergusson's Tracts ; MS. Account of Min., 1689 ; Reg. 
Gen. Ass., 1692; Inq. Ret. Gen., 810; Thomson's Dundee.^ 

Dunnichen (Forfar). 

1763. Griffith Ferguson, He. Pr. of Dundee, 1st Oct. 1760, 
pres. by George iii. June, and ord. 1st Sept. 1763. Died 22nd 
July 1787, in 24th min. He marr., 30th March 1764, Cecilia 
Konald, who married again 25th Nov. 1795. — [Fres. and Syn. 
Reg., etc.] 

1837. Donald Ferguson,^ pres. by William iv. and ord. (ass. 
and sue.) 25th Aug. Joined Free Church. Subsequently 
F.C. minister at Liverpool, Kilmadock, and Leven. Married 
5th March 1846. Fuhlications. — 'Covenanting with God. 
Two Discourses. Dundee, 1844. ' A Pastor's parting prayer 
for his people.' Lecture xii. (Free Ch. Pidpit, iii.) — [Presb. 
Acts of Ass., 1843, etc.] 

1699. James Ferguson, A.M., trans, from Roberton near 
Hawick, adm. 20th April. As an indemnification for his 
losses in the Darien Expedition he got the gift of a house and 
a piece of ground from the Exchequer, and died in May 1737, 
aged about 82, in 41st min. His eccentricity of manner and 
freedom of speech, even in the pulpit, and his homely and 
personal illustrations, sometimes gave great offence. He 
raised an action against the magistrates for payment of Ixxx. 
merks as house rent, for which the Lords of Session, 22nd 
January 1715, found them liable in all time coming. He 
also had a gift from William iii., 9th May 1701, of the 
yard or orchard in the abbey, which belonged formerly to the 

^ See chapter ii. — 'Fergusson of Easter Dalnabreek.' 


Bishop of Brechin, in room of his glebe at Roberton. He 
married in August 1705, Margaret, daughter of James Dou- 
gall of Nunlands. — [Presh. Syn. Edin. (Marr) and Test. Reg. 
(St. And. and Edin.); Bruce's Decisions; Tomhst. Reg. Sec. 
Sigill. ; Scots Mag. 88 ; New Stat. Ace. xi. ; Dougald's East 
Coast ; Jervise's Memorials^ 

Farnell (Brechin). 

1716. David Fergussone, licensed by Presbytery of Dal- 
keith, 15th March 1714. Called jure devoluto and ordained 
4th October 1716. His house was robbed by a gang of 
housebreakers and robbers, 11th February 1747, and a silver 
watch, about £10 in cash, and other things carried off: died 
14th August 1751, in 35th min., leaving a son who succeeded 
to the benefice, and four daughters, Margaret, Jean, Janet, 
and Katherine. — [Fresb. Syn. and Test. Reg. (Brechin) ; Scots 
Mag. ix. ; Tomhst., etc.] 

1751. David Fergusson, son of the preceding, licensed 2nd 
May 1750; pres. by George ii. in April, and ord. ass. and 
sue. 25th July 1751. Died 4th December 1793 in his 
70th year, and 43rd min. He married, 8th May 1755, Janet 
Mitchell, who died 8th November 1796, and had two sons — 
Andrew, minister of Maryton, Mr. Patrick, and a daughter 
Anna. Puhlication. — Account of the Parish (Old Stat. 
Ace. iii.) [Presh. and Syn. Reg., Tomhst, etc.] 

Maryton, or Old Montrose (Brechin). 

1795. Andrew Ferguson, A.M., son of Rev. David Ferguson 
of Farnell; graduated, Aberdeen 1787; ordained as assistant to 
his father, 16th October 1793; pres. by George in. 1795. 
Joined Free Church ; died 24th October 1843 in 75th year 
and 51st min. Married, 27th December 1800, Elizabeth, 
daughter of Rev. William Bruce of the Episcopal Church, 
Arbroath, and had a son, the Rev. David Scott Ferguson, 
minister of Strachan. Publications. — Account of Parish 
(New Stat. Ace. xi.). Articles in Brewster's Edinburgh 
EncyclopcBdia. — [Degrees Maris. Coll. ; Pres. and Syn. Reg. ; 
Tomhst, etc.] 


Kincardineshire. Strachan (Kincardine O'JSfeil). 

1836. David Scott Fergusson, son of Rev. Andrew Fer- 
gusson of Mary ton, lie. Breehin, 1831 ; pres. by Sir James 
Carnegie of Southesk, 1835, and ad. lOtli June following. 
Joined Free Church ; married 21st June 1836. Publication. 
— Account of the Parish (New Stat. Ace. xi.). — [Presb. Reg. ; 
Acts of Ass., 1843, etc.] 




In Ayrshire, and especially in Carrick, the Fergussons are an 
old, and have been a numerous race. The ancient house of 
Kilkerran claims descent from Fergus son of Fergus, who 
obtained a charter of lands in Ayrshire from Robert i., and, 
like other Scottish baronial families of high standing, it is 
found surrounded and supported by cadet branches who took 
rank among the landholders of the district. In 1466 Fergus 
Fergusson and Joneta Kennedy, his spouse, were infeft in the 
lands of AuchinsouU during the lifetime of his father ; and 
when, in 1483, Fergus had to claim his ' heirship moveables,' 
it throws an interesting light on the social habits of the time 
to find that they consisted of ' 12 silver spoons, a pot of a gallon, 
a ring of gold, a croce of gold, and a gray horse.' Lairds of 
Kilkerran and their kin appear engaged in the feudal brawls 
that were common throughout Scotland, but in which Ayr- 
shire at one time almost enjoyed a pre-eminence, and in which 
the brother of the Laird of Threave, known as ' Davie the 
Devill,' must have been a good kinsman to have at hand. 
Sir John of Kilkerran appears as a Cavalier in the civil wars, 
in a country where Covenanting strength was overwhelming, 
and indeed had to admit that ' he was in Kilmarnock with 
Alaster,' and with Montrose at Loudonhill. The difficulties 
in which the estate was involved through the burdens 
incurred in loyal service to the king, led to the transfer of 
the lands in 1700 to the able representative of a younger son, 
the Fergussons of Auchinblain making over the estate to 
John, son of Simon of Auchinwin. Upon the extinction of 
the elder branch, his family became the lineal representatives, 
and he had a distinguished and fortunate career at the Scot- 
tish bar. In 1703 he was created a baronet, and his son, Sir 


James, followed his profession with even greater distinction. 
He became member for the county of Sutherland in 1734, was 
the compiler of Kilkerran's Decisions, and was raised to the 
bench as Lord Kilkerran, being regarded as one of the ablest 
lawyers of his time. One of his sons also became a judge as 
Lord Hermand. He it was who insisted on reading aloud a 
passage from Waverley on the bench, and he was certainly 
one of the last of the old race of Scottish advocates. His 
vast store of anecdotes and amusing stories, with a vein of 
dry caustic humour peculiarly his own, rendered his society 
most fascinating. His elder brother, Sir Adam Fergusson, 
represented Ayrshire for eighteen years, and the city of Edin- 
burgh for four; and in the present head of the family the 
name of Fergusson has been represented, not only in Parlia- 
ment, but in the Government of the Queen. 

The leading cadet families of the name seem to have been 
those of Dalduff, on the south bank of the Girvan water, 
whose names appear from about 1550 to 1650 ; of AuchensouU, 
which seems to have had a separate existence from about 
1564 to 1781 ; of Threave, which started with a feu-right from 
the Commendator of Crossraguel in 1581 ; of Letterpyn, one 
of whom was at Both well Bridge ; of Finnart, settled at Glen- 
app for more than two hundred years, and now represented by 
Fergusson- Kennedy of Bennane ; of Millenderdaill, apparently 
an offshoot of the seventeenth century ; of the Craig, who also 
appear in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ; and of 
Castlehill, apparently also now represented by Fergusson- 
Kennedy of Bennane. There have also been the Fergussons 
of Bank, Crossbill, Monkwood, and Trochraigue, with their 
descendants, Fergusson-Hume of Bassendean and Fergusson- 
Pollok, from whom came James Fergusson, the author of 
useful books on certain departments of Scottish law, James 
Fergusson, the writer on architecture, and John Fergusson of 
Doonholm, an enterprising Indian merchant, who left a 
bequest which was the germ of the Ayr Academy. John of 
Barclauchanan was Commissioner of Militia for Carrick in 
1689, and John of Rainstoun appears as a J.P. for Wigton- 
shire. Thomas of Finnarts was forfeited after the Restora- 
tion, but restored after the Revolution, and with Hew of 



Mains was fined £600, while John of Millander was mulcted 
in £1000 in 1662. The families of Auchensoull and Threave 
would appear now to be represented by the Rev. William 
Fergusson,^ until lately minister of the Free Church at Ellon, 
Aberdeenshire, son of Lieut. James Hamilton Fergusson, 57th 
Foot, and grandson of James Fergusson of Littleton. In the 
following pages notices of these different families in county 
histories are collected, and supplemented by extracts from 
other public sources, relating to them and to other indivi- 
duals of the name connected with Ayrshire. 



The following account of the family of Kilkerran is taken 
from volume viii. of Play fair's British Family Antiquity, pub- 
lished in 1811, containing the ' Baronetage of Scotland.' Sir 
James Fergusson of Kilkerran informs us that it was ' written 
or revised by Lord Hermand, and contains practically all that 
is known of the early history of his family. Its phraseology 
bears evidence of the Judge's hand, and it may therefore be 
accepted as an original narrative from the most authoritative 

^ See his Memorandum, infra. 



After much inquiry and investigation it has not been 
found possible, from any documents now extant, to ascertain 
the origin of this family. That it is of great antiquity there 
is no doubt. Certain it is that there is no tradition in the 
country, nor, as far as has been discovered, any vestige, either 
in the public records or in the charter-chest of any private 
family, of the lands of Kilkerran having ever belonged to any 
other name or family. The old castle of Kilkerran — a build- 
ing almost entire, and of cut stone — appears, from the form of 
its architecture, to have been built at least as long ago as the 
thirteenth or fourteenth century, and is one of the most 
curious remains of that kind of work in Scotland: but by 
whom it was built it is now impossible to ascertain. 

[Kilkerran^ is a district in the parish of Dailly, in Ayrshire, 
through which runs the water of Girvan. The whole parish 
is one immense valley, exhibiting as great a variety of surface 
as any part of equal extent in the kingdom, consisting of 
gentle and irregidar slopes, interspersed with knolls, glens, 
and meadows, thickly studded both with natural and artifi- 
cial woods, and contrasting finely with the bleak and barren 
moors which occupy the summits of the surrounding hills. 
The most romantic part of the parish is that district immedi- 
ately round Kilkerran, Avhich is now likely to become an 
object of curiosity to the tourist, as the good taste of the 
present possessor has made its beauties more accessible by a 
path of considerable length cut along the verge of the preci- 
pice, and overlooking the dashing torrent, and also added to 
them by the judicious distribution of modern planting. This 
is still called the ' Lady Glen,' from an ancient chapel, now 
mouldering into dust, at the lower extremity of this wild 
and romantic dell.] 

The Avant of information from the public records of the de- 
scent of this family is probably owing to the lands composing 
the barony of Kilkerran — though noAv, and for a long period of 
time, held of the crown — having been formerly held of the 
Earls of Cassilis : and the whole of the old writings of that 

^ [Passages in brackets are notes in original.] 


family having been lost and destroyed by neglect, the informa- 
tion that might have been had by inspection of the chartu- 
laries of that family is not now to be obtained. 

Mr. Nisbet mentions a charter from King Robert i. of 
some lands in the shire of Ayr, ' Fergusio Fergusii filio,' for 
which he refers to Haddington's Collection ; and there is no 
doubt that such a charter is there mentioned. But though 
there neither is, nor is known to have been, any family in 
that county that has so fair a claim to be considered as 
having a connection with that charter, yet as the lands 
mentioned in it are not known to have belonged to the 
family of Kilkerran, there is no absolute evidence of the 
family being descended from the person in whose favour 
that charter was granted. 

The first clear and undoubted charter of the family that we 

have met with is dated the 21st of April 1466, and is granted 

by King James iii. ' Fergusio Fergusson et Janetse Kennedy 

spons^e suae terrarum de Auchinsoul et duarum mercat. 

Terrarum jacent. prope Castrum de Keirs, et duarum mercat 

terrarum prope Lochspallander.' This charter, which is in 

the 6th Book, No. 64 of the Public Register, proceeds upon 

the resignation of John Ferguson of Kilkerran, and contains 

the following clause : ' Tenendo diet, terras, cum pertinent, de 

nobis et heredibus et successor ibus nostris, adeo libere quiete, 

etc. Sicut ipse Joannes et predecessoribus nostris ante diet. 

Resignationem nobis inde factam, liberius tenuit seu possidit, 

tenuerunt seu possiderunt.' It is plainly a family settlement 

by the above John Fergusson of Kilkerran, probably in 

favour of his son ; and it provides that, failing heirs of the 

marriage of Fergus and of Janet Kennedy, the lands shall 

return to the nearest heirs of John whatsoever. 

Duncan Fergusson of Kilkerran is a witness to a charter 
by James Kennedy of Blairquhan to Archibald Mure of the 
lands of Burnfoot and Merkland of Carnwhin, dated the 9th 
of February 1547. This charter is in the hands of John 
M'Fadyen of Carnwhin, who holds these lands of Burnfoot 
and Carnwhin by charter from Sir Adam Fergusson of Kil- 
kerran, Bart. 

Bernard Fergusson of Kilkerran, probably the son of 


Duncan, grants a charter to James Ross of the ten-shilling 
land of Clenreoch, to be held of himself. This charter, which 
is dated the 5th of January 1566, is in the charter-chest of 
the family of Stair. There is, in the charter-chest of Kil- 
kerran, a letter of reversion by Adam Boyd of Penkill of a 
wadset granted to him by Bernard and Simeon Fergussons, 
elder and younger of Kilkerran, dated the 13th of January 
1589. In the same repository is a bond of wadset of the 
Merkland of Maldonach by Simeon Fergusson, the younger 
of Kilkerran, to Quintin Kennedy of Drummelland, for three 
hundred merks, dated the 7th of February 1586. 

Simeon Fergusson married Christian Forrester, daughter 
of — Forrester of Garden. This lady, after the death of her 
husband, was married to Gilbert Ross, Provost of the Col- 
legiate Church of Maybole, the son of which marriage had a 
daughter, Margaret Ross, married to the Viscount of Stair. 

Sir John Fergusson of Kilkerran, son of Simeon last men- 
tioned and Christian Forrester, was possessed of a large 
estate in the shire of Ayr, and also of property in G alloway ; 
but having by his adherence to the interest of Charles i., for 
which he got no other compensation than the honour of 
knighthood, contracted large debts, the lands of Kilkerran 
were adjudged from his eldest son, Alexander, by James 
Sydserf ; and the adjudication was transferred by him to the 
Lord Bargany. 

[By his attachment to the loyal cause, this Sir John 
incurred all the malice of the opposite party : in the eighth 
article of the charges against the Duke of Hamilton he is 
also brought forward in a most extraordinary manner, but 
which, even if true, must be considered as redounding highly 
to his credit for his constancy and consistency in the cause 
which he had adopted and faithfully adhered to. 

' One particular omitted above is not amiss to be here 
inserted : at what time the business of the Scottish Covenant 
was at the greatest height, a distressed gentleman of Scot- 
land, Sir John Ferguson, desired the loan of some money 
from Sir John Hamilton of Broomhill (whose relation and 
interest every way to the Duke are known to every one who 
knows them both), who answered him in flat terms he would 


neither give nor lend him a penny, except he and his sons 
would bind themselves to go home and sign the Covenant, 
upon which condition he offered to lend him what he 

It is needless in this place, so far as regards the Duke, to 
expatiate on the absurdity of such a charge ; but the Duke 
in his answer to it expressly declared that for his part he 
knew nothing of any conversation which might have passed 
between Sir John Hamilton and Sir John Ferguson, nor did 
he consider himself accountable for what others, whatever 
their dependence on him might be, had spoken; and then 
concluded with saying, ' he knoAvs not whether Sir J ohn 
Ferguson ever took the Covenant or not ; but this he knows 
well, that he did recommend him to His Majesty as one that 
suffered much for adhering to his duty to His Majesty, and 
did procure several marks of His Majesty's favour for him ' — 
a testimony too honourable to be omitted here.] 

This reverse in the fortune of the family, in addition to 
other misfortunes, is the apparent cause of the loss of most of 
the old writings of the estate, which, if extant, might have led 
to more accurate information respecting the earlier history of 
the family. This Sir John Fergusson married Helen Kennedy, 
daughter of Sir Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, second son to 
Gilbert, the third Earl of Cassilis, which Helen was widow of 

— Mure of Auchendrain. Of this marriage there were four 
sons — Alexander, who succeeded his father ; James and John, ' 
who were both captains in the army during the Civil Wars, 
and died unmarried ; and Simeon, who was the proprietor of 
the lands and estate of Auchinwin. 

[This Alexander married Margaret Sydserf, daughter of 

— Sydserf, first Bishop of Galloway, afterwards translated to 
the See of Edinburgh ; by this marriage he had two sons — 
Alexander, and James, who became a clergyman in England. 
Alexander married Catherine, daughter to Sir William Weir 
of Stonebyres, by whom he had three sons — 1. John, married 
Margaret, daughter of David Crawford of Kerse, but died 
without male issue, leaving a daughter only; 2. William, 
married Agnes, eldest daughter and co-heiress of John 
Kennedy of Auchinblain, a grandson of — Kennedy of 


Knockdon ; and 3. Alexander, died at the unfortunate settle- 
ment of Darien. We are further informed by Nisbet that 
John, the eldest son, and Alexander his father, sold the lands 
of Kilkerran to Sir John, the first Baronet, in the year 1700 ; 
he also adds that he saw a separate writ signed by Alexander 
the father, and the sons John and William, by which they 
cheerfully renounce all interest and title they in any manner 
of way pretend to the above lands, and wish a happy enjoy- 
ment thereof to the said Sir John and his. ' Yet still the 
primogeniture and right of blood, as heir-male, is in the 
person of William Ferguson of Auchinblain.'] 

Simeon Fergusson, who acquired the lands of Auchinwin 
and other parts of the estate of Kilkerran by adjudication 
led at his instance against his brother Alexander, married 
Jean Craufurd, daughter of — Craufurd of Balsarroch, by 
whom he had a son, 

John, afterwards Sir John Fergusson, Bart., who, having 
appUed to the bar at which he was eminently successful, did, 
with the concurrence of Alexander Fergusson, son to his 
uncle Alexander, and of John Fergusson, son to the said 
Alexander, advance the money necessary for clearing off the 
adjudication of the lands held by Lord Bargany. And Alex- 
ander, with his sons John and William, having by a formal 
declaration in his favour renounced all right, title, and 
interest which they could pretend to the estate, or to the 
reversion thereof. Sir John assumed the title of Fergusson 
of Kilkerran, of which family, upon the extinction of the male 
issue of Alexander Fergusson and his sons, his descendants 
became of course the lineal representatives. 

In the year 1703, Sir John Fergusson was created a Baronet 
by patent from Her Majesty Queen Anne to him and the heirs- 
male of his body. In the year 1680 he married Jean White- 
foord, daughter of James Whitefoord of Dinduff, by — Blair, 
daughter of Sir Adam Blair of Blair, and sister to Sir Adam 
Whitefoord of Blairquhan, Bart. 

In the year 1729 Sir John died, leaving two sons — Sir 
James, who succeeded him ; and Adam, a major in the army, 
died in 1770 ; and one daughter — Jean, married to Alexander 
M'Dowall of Garthland. 


Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart., who succeeded 
his father, Sir John, was an eminent lawyer, and in 1749 
became a Judge both of the Court of Session and Court of 

[His title was ' Lord Kilkerran,' and his patriotic exertions 
were not contined to the judicial department alone, as he 
paid great attention to the agricultural improvement of 
his native country. His attention to planting acted power- 
fully as a stimulus to his neighbours, and the plantations 
on the Kilkerran estate by himself and his son, Sir Adam, 
amount to upwards of four hundred acres.] 

He married Lady Jean Maitland, the only child of James, 
Lord Maitland, eldest son of John, Earl of Lauderdale, by 
Lady Jean Sutherland, eldest daughter of John, Earl of 
Sutherland. Of this marriage there were nine sons — 1. John, 
2. James, 3. Adam, 4. William, 5. a second James, 6. Archi- 
bald, 7. Charles, 8. George, and 9. a thii'd James ; and five 
daughters — 1. Jane, 2. Margaret, 3. Helen, 4. Elizabeth, 5. a 
second Helen — in all fourteen. Of the sons only five attained 
the age of manhood — viz. John, who had entered into the 
army, but died in the twenty- second year of his age un- 
married ; 

[He was Cornet in Sir John Mordaunt's Dragoons, and 
was a youth of great hopes. In a character given of him at 
the time he is described to have been blessed with a happy 
genius and good education, and to have acquired a stock of 
knowledge uncommon for his years ; his benevolent disposi- 
tion, and the sweetest natural temper, joined to a life of strict 
virtue, left the happiest impressions of his character, and he 
died much lamented.] 

Adam, who succeeded to his father ; Charles, a merchant 
in London, who in 1764 married Miss Fordyce of New Broad 
Street ; George, who apjDlied to the bar, and is now a Lord of 
Session and Justiciary ; and James, who died in the island of 
Tobago in 1778, having settled upon an estate purchased for 
him in that island. Of the daughters, two died young ; Jean 
and Margaret died unmarried ; and the youngest, Helen, was 
married to Sir David Dalrymple of Hailes, Bart., Secretary 
of the College of Justice, and Lord of Justiciary. Sir James 


Fergusson sat in Parliament for Sutherlandshire from 1734, 
and died the 20th January 1759, aged seventy-one. He was 
succeeded by his third son, Adam, above mentioned, now Sir 
Adam Fergusson. 

Sir Adam Fergusson of Kilkerran, Bart., LL.D., was for 
two-and-twenty years a Member of Parhament — viz. from 
1774 to 1796 — having for eighteen of these years represented 
the County of Ayr in three Parhaments, and for four years 
sat for the County of Edinburgh. 

[On an impartial retrospect of his parliamentary life we 
feel disposed to confess that there never was a Member of 
the Lower House who displayed a spirit of patriotism less 
influenced by party. . . . Since this period he has lived in 
dignified retirement, but still continuing his exertions as a 
private country gentleman.] 

Upon the death of John, Earl of Glencairn, in 1796, Sir 
Adam Fergusson entered a claim to the House of Lords for 
the titles of Earl of Glencairn and Lord Kilmaurs, as lineally 
descended from, and heir-general to Alexander, created Earl 
of Glencairn in 1488, and to Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, 
who died in 1670, whose eldest daughter. Lady Margaret 
Cuningham, was the wife of John, Earl of Lauderdale, and 
mother of James, Lord Maitland, Sir Adam's grandfather. 

It does not belong to a work of this kind to enter into 
points of law. The judgment of the Lords was : ' That 
Sir Adam Fergusson has shown himself to be heir-general 
of Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, who died in 1670, but had 
not made out the right of such heir to the dignity of Earl 
of Glencairn.' 

The following account of the Kilkerran family in Paterson's 
History of Ayrshire Families} affords some additional par- 
ticulars to those given in Lord Hermand's narrative : — 

' The Fergussons of Kilkerran are an old family in Carrick. The 
first of them mentioned is — 

'I. Fergus, son of Fergus, who obtained a charter of certain 
lands in Ayrshire from Robert i. 

1 Vol. i. p. 390, heading— ' Parish of Dailly.' 


* 11. John Fergusson of Kilkerran resigns a part of his estate in 
U66 to 

' III. Fergus Fergusson, his son, and Janet Kennedy, his spouse. 
'IV. Duncan Fergusson of Kilkerran. During the lifetime of 
his father he had the "place of Barnefute." 

'V. Barnard Fergusson of Kilkerran. In 1564 he, along with 
his brothers Thomas and David, and fifty-one others, were delatit 
for invading the Laird of Camlarg in a fenced Court of the Sheriff 
of Ayr. He married Jonet Ritchie, by whom he had a son,i 

'VI. Symon Fergusson of Kilkerran, who seems to have suc- 
ceeded to the property before the death of his father, whom he 
also predeceased. He is mentioned as having appeared before 
arbiters in a case between him and Duncan Crawford, son and 
heir of the late John Crawford of Camlarg, in 1588. He married 
Cristiane Forester, and had issue John, his successor, and another 
child. He died in 159 L (By his will, — quoted, — he nominated Sir 
Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, Ninian Adair of Kilhilt, and Gilbert 
Fergusson of DuldufF, tutors to his son, and left " in legacie to ye 
said Cristiane, his spous, his hors and his naig.") He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, 

'VII. Mr. Johnne Fergusson ^ of Kilkerrane, so styled in the 
testament of John Davidsoun of Penny glen, near May bole, in 1614. 
He is mentioned in the same way in similar documents in 1616, 
1618, and 1621. He was succeeded by his son, 

' VIII. Sir John Fergusson of Kilkerran, who heartily espoused 
the cause of Charles i. in the Civil AVars. His name, as well as 
that of his son, is mentioned in the list of disaffected in Ayrshire 
who gave countenance to Montrose in 1645. For so doing he was 
summoned before the Presbytery of Ayr, and had either to express 
contrition for the offence or submit to excommunication. He 
admitted " that he was in Kilmarnock with Alaster " (i.e. Alexander 
Macdonald), that he had been with Montrose at Loudoun hill, but 
" was never myndit to follow Montrose his cause," and submitted 
himself to censure. Such was the power of the Church. His sub- 
mission, however, did not prevent him from continuing to aid the 
royal cause. He contracted large debts to raise men for the service 
of the King, and had his estates sequestered by Cromwell. He 
retired abroad during the Commonwealth ; and, returning home at 

1 But see extract from Com. Records, infra. 

2 This John Fergusson does not appear in Lord Hermand's account. 


the Eestoratioii, died soon afterwards. "Honourable mention," 
says Nisbet, "is made of him in the Bishop of Sarum's Memoirs of 
the Dukes of Hamilton as one who had firmly adhered in his duty 
to the king, and who had received several marks of his Majesty's 
favour." Sir John married Helen Kennedy, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Kennedy of Culzean, and by her had four sons — Alexander 
and James and John, both Captains in the King's service during 
the Civil Wars, and Simon of Auchinwin. He was succeeded by 

'IX. Alexander Fergusson of Kilkerran, who was retoured as 
heir of his father, John Fergusson of Kilkerran, Militis, in 1650, 
then alive. He married Margaret Sydserf, daughter of the first 
Bishop of Galloway, who was afterwards Bishop of Edinburgh. 
He had two sons — Alexander, who succeeded, and James, a clergy- 
man in England. (He, it has been suggested, ^ may have been 
ancestor of Ferguson of Londonderry, Bart.) 

'X. Alexander Fergusson of Kilkerran, his son and successor, 
married Katherine, daughter of Sir William Weir of Stanebyres, 
and had three sons : — 

' 1. John, of Barclanachan (and Underwood), who married 
Margaret, daughter of David Craufurd of Kerse, but died 
without male issue. He left a daughter by a second 
marriage (with Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Wm. 
Boswell of Knockroon).- He had two sons, Adam and 
William, born respectively in 1693 and 1696, who seem to 
have died young, 

' 2. William, married Agnes, eldest daughter and heir-portioner 
of John Kennedy of Auchinblain, a grandson of Kennedy 
of Knockdon. 

' 3. Captain Alexander, died at Darien. 

'In 1700 Alexander, and John his son, sold the estate of 
Kilkerran to 

'XI. Sir John Fergusson, son of Simon of Auchinwin, who, 
having studied for the Scottish bar, became an advocate of much 
reputation, and amassed considerable wealth. He advanced money 
to clear off the debt on the property, and in this way acquired the 
estate from the elder branches of the family. "Alexander, the 
father," says Nisbet, " and John and William, the sons, sign a 

1 Mr. R. R,. Stodart's ms. Pedigree, Lyon Ofl&ce. 

^ Lyon Office ms. [This daughter, Margaret Ferguson, b. 1690 ; m. John, 
second son of David Boswell of Craigston, co. Ayr. ] 


separate writ which was in my hands, by which they cheerfully 
renounce all interest and title they in any manner of way pretend 
to the abo^•e lands, and wishes a happy enjoyment thereof to the 
said Sir John and his." He was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia 
in 1703. He was agent for the town of Ayr in 1704. Sir John 
married Jean, daughter of James Whitefoord of Dinduff, and was 
succeeded, at his decease in 1729, by his eldest son, 

'XII. Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran. Like his father he 
studied law and pursued it as a profession, with high reputation. 
He was an advocate in 1717. In 1733 he acted as an arbiter in 
the dispute between Kennedy of Baltersan and the Town of Ayr 
respecting the Doon fishings. In 1741 (1735) he was nominated 
a Judge of the Court of Session, and in 1749, also, a Judge of the 
Court of Justiciary, under the titular designation of Lord Kilkerran. 
His lordship married Jean, only child of James, Lord Maitland, 
and granddaughter of John, Earl of Lauderdale, and his wife. 
Lady Margaret Cunninghame (eldest daughter of Alexander, 10th 
Etirl of Glencairn), by whom he had nine sons and five daughters. 
Of the former four attained maturity, viz. : — 

' 1. Adam, who succeeded. 

' 2. Charles, who married Anne, daughter of John Fordyce, Esq. 
of Aiton, and was father of James, who succeeded as 4th 
Baronet. He was admitted a burgess of Ayr in 1757. 

' 3. James, who died upon his estates in the island of Tobago. 

* 4. George, Lord of Session and Justiciary, under the title of 

Lord Hermand; died 1827. 
'5. Helen, born in 1741, and died in 1810. 
' Two other daughters also attained a considerable age. 

* XIII. Sir Adam Fergusson of Kilkerran, LL.D., who repre- 
sented the county of Ayr in Parliament for eighteen years and the 
city of Edinburgh for four — in all from 1774 to 1796. Burns, in 
his " Earnest Cry and Prayer," thus compliments Sir Adam : — 

" Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilkerran." 

[He was served heir in 1785 to his uncle, Major Adam Fergusson.] 
In 1786 he was appointed by Government Substitute- Admiral 
between Troon Point and Ballantrae. Upon the death of John, 
Earl of Glencairn, in 1796, Sir Adam Fergusson preferred a claim 
before the House of Lords to the honours of that noble family as 
lineal descendant of, and heir-general to Alexander, created Earl 
of Glencairn in 1488; and to Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, who 


died in 1670, through the latter nobleman's eldest daughter (Sir 
Adam's great-grandmother), Lady Margaret Cuninghame, wife of 
John, Earl of Lauderdale, and mother of James, Lord Maitland; 
but the Lords decided "that although Sir Adam Fergusson has 
shown himself to be heir-general to Alexander, Earl of Glencairn, 
who died in 1670, he hath not made out the right of such heir to 
the dignity of Earl of Glencairn." Sir Adam dying 23rd Sept. 
1813, aged 81, without issue, the title devolved upon his nephew. 
Sir James Fergusson.' 

The subsequent history of the family of Kilkerran is thus 
given by Sir Bernard Burke in the Peerage and Baronetage 
(ed. 1894) :— 

'(XIV). Sir James, b. 20 Oct. 1765; m. 1st Oct. 1799 Jean, 
2nd dau. of Sir David Dalrymple, Bart., Lord Hailes, by Helen, 
his wife, dau. of Sir James Fergusson, Bart., Lord Kilkerran, and 
by her (who d. 6 May 1803) had 1. Charles Dalrymple; Helen, 
deceased, and Anne. He m. 2ndly, 5 Dec. 1804, Henrietta, 2nd 
dau. of Admiral Viscount Duncan, and by her (who died 14 May 
1850) had— 

' 1. Adam Duncan, R.N., b. 8 Aug. 1806 ; d. Aug. 1843. 
'2. George Hermand, b. 22 Aug. 1810; m. 1839 Jane, dau. of 
Little-Gilmour, Esq. of Craigmillar, and relict of Major 
Gordon of Hallhead, which lady died s.p. Dec. 1844. He 
married 2ndly, 28 July 1857, Georgina Grace, dau. of 
Archibald Buchanan, Esq. of Auchentorlie, and d. 27 
April 1870, leaving issue George, Capt. 3rd Batt. Royal 
Scots Fusiliers, b. 1862; m. 1886 Grace, dau. of Claud 
Hamilton, Esq., and has issue; and Mary, m. 1878 James 
Creagh Scott, of Crevagh, co. Clare. 
'3. James Alexander Duncan, b. 30 July 1812; late in the 6th 
Bengal light cavalry ; served with distinction in the 
Punjab campaign of 1848; a Heut.-col. in the army; m. 
15 Nov. 1844 Margaret, dau. of James Hope, Esq., W.S., 
and d. 8 Nov. 1864, having had a daughter, Alice Jane, 
m. 1872 to Col. Montagu Browne, late 3rd Dragoon 
' 4. Robert Duncan of Cassilis House, Ayrshire ; Major, Royal 
Ayrshire and Wigtown Rifles; b. 16 Sept. 1813; m. 1st, 
30 Jan. 1852, Helen, 2nd dau. of John Blackburn, Esq. of 
Killearn, co. Stirling, and by her (who d. 21 July 1863) 


had 1. Harry James, Major, late Rifle Brigade, formerly 
Military Secretary and A.D.C. to Gen. Sir J. Ross, com- 
manding the troops in Canada; b. 18 Dec, 1852. 2. John 
Blackburn, LL.B., barrister-at^law, b. 3rd Dec. 1855; m. 
27 July 1880 Effie Mary Ramsay, only daughter of Andrew 
Blackburn, Esq., and has Robert Duncan, born 21 Aug. 
1881 ; and 1. Lucy Jane, m. 1st, 9th Nov. 1877, to Hon. 
Ai'thur Hay David Eraser, Capt. Scots Guards, youngest 
son of Alexander, 17 th Baron Saltoun. Capt. Eraser d. 
27 Jan. 1884. She m. 2ndly, 25th April 1887, Erancis 
John Stuart Hay Newton, Esq. Major Robert Eergusson 
m. 2ndly, 25 May 1886, Margaret Eliza, widow of John 
Hay Newton, Esq. of Newton, and d. 15th February 

'5. Henry Duncan, W.S., Edinburgh, b. 30 Sept. 1816; m. 
16 June 1846 Anna, dau. of R. Nasmyth, Esq., F.R.C.S.E., 
and died 22nd Oct. 1866, leaving 1. Robert Henry Duncan, 
b. 17 Dec. 1849; ra. 27 Sept. 1877 Mabel Frances, dau. of 
Robert Balfour Wardlaw-Iiamsay, Esq. of Whitehill and 
Tillicoultry, and has Robert Arthur, b. 1878, and Irene- 
Hilda; 2. Henry Cornelius Coventry, b. 20 Aug. 1854; 
Henrietta, d. 16 June 1863; and Georgina Frederika, b. 
2 Nov. 1852; m. 30 Sept. 1879 to Charles N. Orbell, Esq. 
of the Levels, Timaru. 

' 6. Hew Dalrymple Hamilton, E. I. Co.'s Civil Service (retired) ; 
b. 6 Dec. 1817; m. 11 Sept. 1838 Louisa, dau. of Gen. 
C. Godby, C.B., A.D.C. to the Queen, and has 1. James, 
CLE, born 18 Sept. 1840; m. 9 Nov. 1887; Annie 
Gillespie, dau. of William Gillespie Mitchell of Garwood, 
CO. Lanark; 2. Charles Robert Kennett, b. 25 Sept. 
1842 ; m. in 1872 Eleanora Dalrymple, daughter of Duncan 
Davidson, Esq. of TuUoch, by Eleanora his vnie, daughter 
of Sir James Fergusson, 4th baronet, and has Muriel 
Catherine and Sybil Henrietta. 

'7. Robert Dundas Octavius, b. 23 Sept. 1819; m. 1841 
Amelia, dau. of Capt. Macdonald of Australia, and died 
having had issue : 1. George Adam Duncan Camperdown, 
b. 1847; m. 16 Jan. 1883 Marianne M'Donald, widow of 
Alfred Stephens, Esq., Bridport, and dau. of Henry Paul, 
Esq. of Topsham, co. Devon ; 2. Charles Dalrymple, b. 
1849; 3. Robert Dundas Arthur Graham, b. 1851; m. 


1877 Mary Rachel, dau. of Major Francis Whitworth 
Russell, and has a dau., Alice Mary ; 4. Hew Dairy mple, 
b. 1861. 1. Henrietta Sarah, m. 1868 to Rev. Joseph 
Richards, M.A., rector of Shelley; 2. Julia, m. 1876 to 
the late George James Macdonald, Esq. ; 3. Jane Roberta, 
and 4. Edith Jemima. 

'8. Frederick William Brown Gustave, late Major, Ayrshire Militia, 
b. 30 March 1826; m. 17 Oct. 1871 Alice Wilhelmina 
Mary, 2nd dau. of John Stuart Hay Newton, Esq. of 

' 1. Henrietta Duncan, d. in 1845. 

'2. Jane Dalrymple-Hamilton, m. in 1848 to Robert Bruce, Esq. 
of Kennett, co. Clackmannan, who d. 13 Aug. 1864 ; 
their only son, Alexander Hugh, is the present Lord 
Balfour of Burleigh. 

'3. Catherine, m. 17 Jan. 1838 to Henry Ritchie, Esq. of 
Busbie, Craigton, and Cloncaird, who died 6 Nov. 1843. 

' 4. Eleanora Dalrymple, m. to Duncan Davidson, Esq. of Tulloch, 
CO. Ross, and died in 1845. 

' 5. Mary Jemima Dundas Adamina, m. in Nov. 1845 to Andrew 
Buchanan, Esq. of Auchentorlie, who d. 1886. 

' Sir James died 14 April 1838, and was succeeded l)y his son, 

'(XV.) Sir Charles Dalrymple, b. 1800, who m. 1829 Helen, 
daughter of the Right Hon. David Boyle, and by her (who died 
26 June 1869) had surviving issue, 
' 1. James, present baronet. 
' 2. David Boyle, b. in 1836, d. in 1841. 

'3. Charles Dalrymple of New Hailes; created a baronet 1887 ; 
M.P. for Bute 1868 to 1885, and for Ipswich since 1886. 
Junior Lord of the Treasury, 1885-6. B. 15 Oct. 1839; 
m. 7th April 1874 Alice Mary, dau. of Sir Edward Hunter 
Blair, 4th baronet of Blairquhan, and by her (who d. 2nd 
Sept. 1884) had 

David Charles Herbert, b. 29 March 1879. 
Christian Elizabeth Louisa. 
Alice Mary. 
'Sir Charles, on succeeding to the estates of Hailes in East 
Lothian, and New Hailes in Midlothian, assumed the name and 
arms of Dalrymple. 

'4. John Adam, Major, Rifle Brigade; b. May 1846, m. 13th 
July 1871 Sarah, 2nd dau. of Joseph Gilbert, Esq. of 


Pewsey Vale, South Australia, and has Gilbert Charles 
Dalrymple, b. 1874; Catherine Helen; Anna Mary; Edith 
Nora ; Jean ; Olive ; and Margaret Agnes. 

'1. Elizabeth. 

' 2. Jane, d. in 1835. 

'3. Helen Anne, d. 12 Oct. 1889. 

*4. Henrietta Duncan, m. 5 Dec. 1852 Right Rev. George 
Wyndham Reunion, D.D., Bishop of Adelaide. 

'5. Catherine, d. 21 Sept. 1867. 

'6. Mary Dalrymple, m. 28 Dec. 1866 to Walter Severn, Esq. 

'7. Eleanora Charlotte Dalrymple, m. 31 Aug. 1871 to the 
Rev. David Robertson, M.A., rector of Hartlebury, young- 
est son of the Hon. Lord Benholme. Sir Charles d. 18 
March 1849, and was succeeded by 

* (XVI). The Right Honble. Sir James Fergusson, Bart., P.C, 
G.C.S.L, K.C.M.G., CLE., of Kilkerran, M.P. for Ayrshire 1854- 
1857, and 1859-1868, now M.P. for N.E. Manchester; Under 
Secretary of State for India, 1866 to 1867, and for the Home 
Department, 1867; Governor of South Australia, 1868 to 1872; 
Governor of New Zealand, xi^72-1874; Governor of Bombay, 1880 
to 1885 ; Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1886 to 
1891; and Postmaster-General, 1891-92; m. 1st, 9 Aug. 1859, 
Lady Edith Christina, 2nd dau. and co-heir of the 1st Marquis of 
Dalhousie, and by her (who died 28 Oct. 1871) has issue, 

' 1. Charles, Lieut, and Adj. Grenadier Guards, b. 17th Jan. 

'2. James Andrew, Lieut. R.N., b. 16 April 1871. 
' 1. Susan Georgiana, m. 10 Nov. 1880 to John George Baird, 
Esq., M.P., late 16th Lancers, of Adamton and Muirkirk. 
' 2. Edith Helen (C.L). 
'He married 2ndly, 11 March 1873, Olive, C.L, youngest 
daughter of John Henry Richman, Esq. of Warnbunga, South 
Australia, and by her (who died 8 Jan. 1882) had issue, 
'3. John, b. 12th Oct. 1874, and died the same day. 
'4. Alan Walter John, b. 16 Aug. 1878. 
'He married 3rdly, 5 April 1893 Isabella Elizabeth, widow 
of Charles Hugh Hoare, Esq. of Morden, Surrey, and dau. of the 
late Rev. Thomas Twysdon, formerly rector of Charlton, Devon. 

' Sir James, who served with the Grenadier Guards in the Crimea, 
was wounded at Inkerman. He was some time Hon. Colonel, 4th 
battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.' 





21 Ap. 1466. Rex concessit Fergusio Fergusoun et Jonetae 
Kennedy ejus sponsae terras de Auchinsoulde ac duas mercatas 
terrarum prope castrum de Keris et duas mercatas prope Loch 
Spaladar in comitatu de Carrie v. Are : — quas Joh. Fergusoun 
de Kilkerane resignavit, etc. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. \. 872.) 

19th Feb. 148.3. Decree that effric M'dowell shall pay to Fergus 
fergussoun, as heir to umquhill his fad^ John Ferguson, the goods 
of heirschip, or the avail of them, as he may prove before the 
sheriff: that is to say, 12 silver spoons, a pot of a gallon, a Ring of 
gold, a croce of gold, a gray horse. — {Ada Auditdrum.) 


10th Get. 1483. Step of process in action by Thomas Campbell 
of Skeldoun, against Fergus Fergusson, son and heir to umquhill 
John Ferguson of Kilkerran. — {Ada Auditorum.) 

1483. Sa. Fergusii Fergusone to Lybrik {Wigtoun).—{3xdi. 
Bolls, ix.) 

13th Aug. 1488. Fergus Fergusone of Kilkerran appears as 
witness to a pursuivant's execution.— (Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, i. 
p. 10.) 


1 488. Sasine of the lands of Conray and Machirmore to Fergus 
Ferguson (Ayrshire). — {Exdi. Bolls, x.) 

10th March 1490. The Lords of Council assign to Fergus Fergus- 
soun of Kilkerran the 15th day of June next to come, with continua- 
tion of days, to prove that John Makke of M'toun, wrongously took 
up, intromitted, and withheld 20 bolls of victual in man'^ of tribute 
of the lands of lybrik, and to prove the taking of the 40 kye and 
oxen from the said Fergus, out of his lands of Auchinschoule, and 
the avail of them. — (Acta Dominorum Concilii.) 

28th Feb. 1492. Decree that Quitene Mure of the Ard shall 
pay to Fergus Fergusone of Kilkerran 40 marks, of the rest of a 
mare sum owed by the said Quitene for contract of marriage of 
times by past, as was proved by his obligation under his seal and 
subscription manual. — {Ad. Dom. Con.) 

26th Jan. 1498. Joh. Fergussoun, filio Fergusii Fergussoun de 
Kilkerran, is a witness to a charter by Andree Adunnil de Dal 
quhowane. — {Reg. Mag. Sig.) 

1508. John Schaw of Kerise was admitted to compound for 
forethought felony done to Duncan Fergussoun, young Laird of Kil- 
kerran, in coming to his Place of Burnefute and throwing down and 
Ijreaking into the houses of the said Place, and for keeping the 
lands of Burnefute waste for the space of one year.— (Pitcairn's 
Crim. Trials, i. p. 58.) 

1512. Sa. Duncano Fergusoun to Librek (Wigtoun). 
„ Sa. Duncano Fergusoun to Conray, Machirmor, Auchin- 
seoill, Balmerloch, Findach, Burnefute, Lochland. — {Exdi. Bolls, 
vol. xiii.) 

28 Oct. 1541. Grant to Duncan CraA^^urd of a charge on the 
lands of Liljrek vie. "NVigtoun, which belonged to Duncan Fergusson 
of Kilkerane, ^vith power to said D. F. and his heirs to redeem 
within 7 years. — {Beg. Mag. Sig. i. 2494.) 

3 Ap. 1542. Grant to Duncan Crawfurd and Isobella Fergus- 
soun, his spouse, of several lands — i.e. Conray, Auchinsowill, Machir- 
more, Balmerloch, Findauch, Burnefute, and Lochland, which had 
been in the hands of the superior for 29 years from the decease of 
Fergus F. of Kilkerran, with power to Duncan F. of K. to redeem 
within 7 years. — {Beg. Mag. Sig. i. 2634.) 

28 Jan. 1544. Duncan Fergusoun of Kilkerane, Wil. Fergusoun, 


son of said Duncan, and Tho. Fergusoun in Auchinsowle, are mem- 
bers of an Assize. — {lieg. Mag. Sig. i. 3025.) 

2 Nov. 1544. Duncan F. of K. is a witness to a charter of 
Queen Mary. — {Pieg. Mag. Sig. i. 3025.) 

15 Nov. 1544. Charter to Duncan Crauford of Camlair of the 
'24 solidatas 10 den. terrarum antiqui extentus de Librek ... in 
parochia de Kirkynner vie. Wigtoun, quse fuerunt Duncani Fer- 
gusoun de Kilkerane,' \nth power to D. F. to redeem within 
7 years.— (i?e^. Mag. Sig. i. 3032.) 

28th June 1554. Tho. Fergussoun of Kilkerane, Hector Fergus- 
soun in Dalduff, and Gilb. Fergussoun in Balcamy are on an Assize. 
—{Reg. Mag. Sig. iii. 943.) 

Dec. 12, 1564. Barnard Fergussoun of Kilkeran, Thomas and 
David, his brothers, and fifty-one others, including among other 
'pannels of note,' Thomas Fergussone in the Traif, Hector F., 
spouse to Agnes Crawford ; Niniane F., his son ; William F. of 
Auchinsoull, Duncane F. of Glenbowar, were accused of an invasion 
of the Laird of Camlarg, etc., in a fenced Court of the Sheriff of Ayr. 
Thomas F. and William of Auchinsoull were discharged simpliciter ; 
the Earl of Cassilis, as Baillie of the Regality of Crossrawgall, un- 
successfully sought to replegiate Thomas in the Traif : Hector, 
Thomas, and Barnard Fergusoune were ' Fylit of arte and parte of 
the Convocatioune.' Continued as to the rest. Camlarg and his 
party were also ' Fylit for the same crime.' — (Pitcairn's Crim. 
Trials, i. p. 457.) 

Jan. 17, 1580. Simon Fergussoun hceres Elizabethan Adair 
sponsce Bernardi Fergussoun de Kilkerrane matris. — {Ketaurs, 
General, 8327.) 

1590. ' Kilkerane ' in roll of ' Landit men.' — {Privy Council Reg. 
iv. p. 787.) 

1 0th April 1590. Caution in £1 000 by John Kennedy of Carlok, 
as principal, and Symon Fergussoun of Culkerrane, younger, as 
surety for him, that S. and W. Johnstounis shall be harmless of the 
said principal. 

Caution to the same purpose in £500 by S. F., yr. of K., for 
Q. Boyd of Auchrocher. — {Prii-y Council Reg. iv. p. 475.) 

Feb. 21, 1600. Bernard Ferguison of Kilcairren, charged with 
abiding from the Earl of Angus's Raid at Dumfries, was discharged 


by the Treasurer in respect of his age, with consent. — (Pitcairn's 
Grim. Trials, ii. p. 106.) 

13 Jul. 1615. Confirmation of a charter, ' M. Joannis Fergus- 
sone de Kilkerrane,' in which, in implement of a contract between 
them, with consent of Cristine Forrester, his mother, and Gilbert 
Eos (?), ' prepositi ecclesie collegiate de Mayboll,' her husband, and 
of Gilbert Fergusson of Dalduft" on the one part, and Duncan Craw- 
ford, formerly of Auchinsoull, then of Nather Skeldoun, and John 
Crawford, his son, on the other, he let in feu farm to John Crawford 
and his heirs the lands of Machremoir, Balmerloch, and Fontanoch, 
with the mill of Bermerloch, Burnefute, and Lochspallender. — 
{Ile<j. Marj. Sifj. vi. 1288.) 

On 19th July 1621, the Prince granted to M. John Fergussoune 
of Kilkerrane and Helene Kennedie, his spouse, 10 solidatas terrarum 
de Daltomie, 2 mercat. de Dalcoppok, 10 sol. de Auchlewane, 20 
solid, de Auchaltitie et Aultakeyth, 4 mercat. de lie Maynes de Kil- 
quhenzie cum turre, J mercat. de Dalcur cum molendino, terris 
molendinariis, etc., 20 solid, de Auchinayn, 20 solid, de Tornbrok 
antiqui extentus in parochia de Mayboill, comitatu de Carrik, vie. 
Ayr.' And also, to M. John Fergussoune of Kilkerrane 40 soli- 
datas terrarum, de lie Mekill et Littill Broklochis, 3 librat. de 
Over Auchinsowll cum piscationibus, moris, etc. in comitatu de 
Carrik, etc.— (Eeg. Mag. Sig., 1620-1633, 730 and 731.) 

On 31st July 1629, John Fergusson of Kilkerran is mentioned 
as a consenting party to a resignation of the lands of Littill Schal- 
lochmuck in Girvan.— (A^e^. Mag. Sig., 1620-1633, 1478.) 

April 11, 1650. Alexander Fergussone de Kilkerrane hceres 
Domini Joannes Fergussone de Kilkerrane militis pi^ris, in terris 
de Knockrocher, Ferding Machrinkill, Chappelland, Clenreoch, 
Kennediestoun, Cladoich, Cubbiestoun-Holme, Balbeg et Park, 
nuncupatis 4 mercatis terrarum juxta locum de Kilkerrane antiqui 
extentus in comitatu de Carrik : reliquis terris de Kilkerrane ex- 
tendentibus ad 11 mercatas terrarum continentibus terras sub- 
scriptas, viz. Balcamie, Dobbingstoun, Meldinch, Carniston alias 
Dalfarsand, Pinblawat liestoun, Glengie, Murastoun, Daltangan, 
Pelzeoche nuncupatas in integro 10 libratas terrarum antiqui ex- 
tentus de Kilkerrane. A.E. £10, N.E. £40. Terris dc Dalmortoun 
comprehendentibus 4J mercatas terrarum de Schaven ; 2|- mercatas 
terrarum de Glenachie ; 3 mercatas terrarum de Meikle Schalloch ; 
3 mercatas terrarum de Trostan et Knoclay ; 32 solidatas terrarum 


de Clongill ; mercatam terrarum de Knokonner ; 2 mercatas 
terrarum de Knockska ; 2 mercatas terrarum de Risk ; 32 soli- 
datas terrarum de Dalmortoun ; 16 solidatas terrarum de Balbeg; 
16 solidatas terrarum de Lentow in parocliin de Straitoun ; 5 mer- 
catas terrarum de Laynferne in balliatu de Carrik; A. E. £20, 
N. E. £80, 10 solidatis terrarrum de Daltowne ; 2 mercatis ter- 
rarum de Dalco^^pock ; 10 solidatis terrarum de Auchlewane ; 20 
solidatis terrarum de Auchaltatie et Ault-a-keth : 4 mercatis ter- 
rarum de Maynes de Kilchinze ; dimidia mercata terrse de Dalcur ; 
20 solidatis terrarum de Auchinvyne ; 20 solidatis terrarum de 
Thornebrock antiqui extentus in parochia de Mayboll et comitatu 
Carrick ; A. E. 12J m., N. E. 50 m., 3 libratis terrarum de Nether 
Auchinsoull ; terris de Machremore et Barmerloche (vel Balmer- 
loclie) cum molendino de Barmerloch ; 2 mercatis terrarum de 
Lochspallender et 2 mercatis terrarum de Burnefute antiqui ex- 
tentus in die to comitatu de Carrick; A E. .£10, N. E. £40, 5 mer- 
catis terrarum de Crochbae, comprehendentibus Drumbae, Knock- 
mule, Barncruik, Chappeltoun, et Litle Auchingairne : A. E. 5 m. 
N. E. 20 m. : Terris de Capenoche ; 2 mercatis terrarum de Knock- 
breck ; mercata terrae de Craigfin, infra dictum balliatum de Carrik 
A. E. 31, N. E. 14 m.—{Betours, Ayrshire, 446.) 

Note from Deuchar's MS. Collections : — 

1585. 11 May. 

Isabel (1) Adair=Bernard Ferguson-= Agnes Shaw 
+ 1568. +1576. 

Symon. W*^\ James. 

(Ed. Com. Test. Records.) 


{Parish of Mayhole.) 

'The Fergiissons of Dalduff — "a small stone house, with ane 
orchard and good corne fields about it," situated about three 
miles from the mouth of the Girvan, on the south side of that 
stream — were a direct branch of the Fergussons of Kilkerran, 
from whom they appear to have originally rented the lands 
of Dalduff. The first of the family, we presume, was, 


' I. Hector Ferguson in Dalduff, Avho had a Crown charter 
of the lands of Riddilston, 10th February 1557. He was 
succeeded by his son, 

* 11. Gilbert Ferguson, " fiho Hectori Ferguson in Dalduff," 
had a CroAvn charter of the lands of Blair and KnokgiUo 
20th September 1585. His father was alive at this period. 
He must have died, however, before 1591, in which year 
Gilbert Fergussoun of Dalduff was appointed, in the testament 
of Symone Fergussoun of Kilkerrane, one of the tutors to his 
children. He had not only succeeded his father at this time, 
but become proprietor of Dalduff. He had a Crown charter 
of the lands of Dalquhane, Corsehill, etc., dated 29th June 
1610. He had another charter of the lands of Knokbray and 
Craigfin, the penult of April 1613. Gilbert was alive in 1614, 
in which year he is mentioned in the testament of " Johnne 
Dauidsoun" of Penny glen. He does not appear to have been 
much mixed up with the feuds which prevailed so violently 
in Carrick during his time. His name only once occurs in 
the Historie of the Kennedyis, where he is described as 
being in the company of Hew Kennedy of Garriehorne, "quha 
was ane striker off" the Laird of Bargany," when met by the 
Laird of Auchindraine and his son at the townhead of Ayr, 
where a short conflict ensued. 

'III. John Fergusson of Dalduff was served heir of his 
father, Gilbert Fergusson of Dalduff, October 31, 1615. . . . 
(See service, p. 357, for description of property.) The property 
seems to have been soon afterwards disposed of to the Cassilis 
family, as it occurs in the service of John, Earl of Cassilis, 
in 1622; and the "stone house" of Dalduff has long been 
levelled, or nearly so, with the cornfields by which it was 
wont to be surrounded.' — (Paterson's History of Ayrshire 
Families, ii. p. 369.) 

10th Feb. 1557-8. Grant to Hector Fergusson in Dalduff of 
the lands of Keddellistoun under redemption. — {lleg. Mag. Si<j. iii. 

20th Sept. 1585. Confirmation of charter by which G. 
Kennedy of Balmaclennochane sold ' Gilberto Fergussoun, filio 
Hectoris Fergussoun in Dalduff,' * 40 solidat. terrarum de Blair et 


Kirkingilloch (Knockingilloch) . . . infra terras de Balmaclen- 
nochane com. de Carrick vie. Ayr.' — {Reg. Mag. Sig. iv. 887.) 

15th June 1600. Gilbert Fergusson of DaldufF cautioner for 
Johne, Earl of Cassilis, to keep Ninian Adair of Kinhilt skaithless 
of his cautionry. — (P. C. Beg. v. 652.) 

1st Sept. 1601. Gilbert Fergusson of Dalduff again cautioner 
for John, Earl of Cassilis.— (P. C. Beg. v. 693.) 

25th Oct. 1602. Gilbert Eos, Provost of Maybole, for Gilbert 
Fergusoun of DaldufF, George Fergusoun of Thraif, in 300 merks, 
not to intercommune with William, brother of Adam Boyd of 
Pinkhill, now at the horn. 

27th April 1604. Caution for and by Gilbert Fergusoun of 
Dalduff.— (P. a Beg. vii. p. 549.) 

8th Sept. 1608. Caution for Gilbert Fergusoun of DaldufF 
not to reset Al. Kennedy. — (P. G. Beg. viii. p. 671.) 

Caution by Gilbert Fergusoun of DaldufF for John, Earl of 
Cassilis, not to harm Thomas Hay of Park. — (P. C. Beg. viii. p. 

29th June 1610. Charter to Gilbert Fermisson of DaldufF of the 
lands of Dalquhane (or Dalquheane), Corshill, and Drumhill (or 
Drumquhill), cum Manerie, in the parish of Kirkmichael, county 
and bailiary of Carrick . . . and Crochba, Druml)a, Capanoch, Knock- 
moill, and Lyttil Auchingrane (or Auchingarne), in the parish 
of Maybole (formerly held by Kennedy of Crochba, and incorporated 
in liberam tenandriam de Crochba. — {Beg. Mag. Sig. vi. 816.) 

29th April 1613. Charter to Gilbert Fergussone of DaldufF of 
the lands of Knockbrax and Craigfyn in the bailiary of Carrick.— 
{Beg. Mag. Sig. vi. 813.) 

20th January, 1614 and 28th August 1616. Commission of the 
Peace to Gilbert Fergussoun of DaldufF — (P. C. Beg. x., pp. 204 
and 619.) 

31st Oct. 1615. Joannes Fergusson de DaldufF hwres Gilberti 
Fergussoune de DaldufF patris, in 2 mercatis terrarum de Knock- 
brax ; mercata terrene de Craigfyn ; 5 mercatis terrarum de Dal- 
quhouand, Corshill, Drumquhill ; 5 mercatis terrarum de Crochba, 
Drumba, Calpanoche, Knockmoill, et Littil Auchingarine antiqui 
extentus in comitatu de Carrick; A. E., £8, 13s. 4d.j N. E., £34, 
13s. 4d. Mercata terrse de DaldufF antiqui extentus in parochia 


de Mayboill et comitatu praescripto : E., £3. Dimidia mercatis 
terrarum de Dalair in comitatu praedicto, E. 30s. — (Betours, 
Ayrshire, 132.) 

4 July 1616. John Ferguson of DaldufF on an assize. — {Beg. 
Mag. Sig. vi. 1482.) 

29 Aug. 1616. Gilbert Fergussoun of Dalduff is mentioned as 
donatar of the liferent escheat of D. Jo. Kennedy of Banelluines, 
Knight.— (^e^. Mag. Sig. vi. 1519.) 

6th March and 18th June 1618. John Fergusson, then of 
DaldufF, son and heir of the late Gilbert Fergusson of Dalduff, and 
Gilbert Eos of Millanderdaill, are mentioned as persons to whom 
certain lands in Wigtown were granted in 1614 and 1615, and 
John Fergusson as having sold his part to Gilbert Eos, and 
Cristine Forester, his spouse. A charter is granted to Gilbert 
Eoss of Millanderdaill and Cristine Forester, his spouse. — (Beg. 
Mag. Sig. vi. 1788, 1789, and 1847.) 

20th May 1619. John Fergussoun of DaldufF appears as witness 
to a deed.— (P. C. Beg. xi. p. 578.) 

On 10th September 1523 there was granted to Quinten Shaw, 
merchant in Stratoun, '40 solidat. terrarum de Knokbrek, 5 mercatas 
de Dalhowan, 2 mercat. de Drumbae in balliatu de Carrick, quae 
fuerunt Joannis Fergusoune de DaldufF,^ and had been apprised. 
—{Beg. Mag. Sig., 1620-1633.) 

Dec. 1, 1625. Hugo Ferguisone, Jiceres Archibaldi Ferguisone, 
fratris germani, and hceres Hectoris Ferguisone, filii legitimi 
Gilberti Ferguisone de DaldufF, fratris germani. — {Betours, General, 
1239 and 1240.) 

Dec. 6, 1653. James Fergusone, heir of Gilbert Fergusone of 
DaldufFe, his father. — {Betours, General, 3865.) 

Dec. 8, 1563. James Fergusone, heir of Johne Fergusone, 
his brother. — {Betours, General, 3868.) 


Parish of Barr. 

William Fergusson of Aucliinsoul was engaged with his 
chief, Barnard Fergusson of Kilkerran, in the attack on the 
Laird of Camlarg in the fenced Court of the Sheriff of Ayr 


in 1564. In 1689 Fergusson of Auchinsoul was excommuni- 
cated by the Church for contumaciousness, having paid no 
attention to the various sentences of the Presbytery for 
several years previously. Upon this he fled to Drummer e, 
Ireland, with the object of his illicit affection, Janet Martin; 
but he felt glad in 1711 — such was the influence of the 
Church — to make ' due repentance ' and be relieved from his 
sentence. William Fergusson of Auchinsoul was a Com- 
missioner of Supply in 1758. In 1781 Lieutenant James 
Fergusson of Auchinsoul was admitted a burgess of Ayr. 
His successor, Fergusson of Littleton, sold the property to 
John M'Kie (before 1797). — (Paterson's History of Ayrshire 
Families, p. 258.) 

27th March 1593. Grant to Jonete Crawfurd, relict of Hector 
Fergiissoun in Auchinsoul, in life rent, and William Fergussoun, 
her son, of ' 20 solidat., 40 solidatarum terrarum antiqui extentus 
de Kirkbrek (Knokbrek) ex parti occidental! earundem (per dictum 
Jon. et prius per dictum Hect. occupatas) in p. de Calmonell, com. 
de Carrik.'— (i^6J^. Mag. Sig. iv. 2263.) 

In a charter of 21st Dec. 1620, the lands of Knokbrek are men- 
tioned as occupied by William Fergussone in Auchinsoull. — (Beg. 
Mag. Sig., 1620-1633, 720.) 


Parish of Kirhoswald. 

24th Feb. 1580-81. Confirmation of charter by the Commen- 
dator of Crossraguel by which 'ad feudi-firmam dimisit Thome 
Fergussoun in ThraifF et Jonet Greir ejus spouse ... 6 mercat. 
terrarum de ThraifF, J mercat de DallikilHng (per dictum Thom. 
et ejus subtenentes occup.) cum manerie hortis pomariis, silvis, 
antiqui extentus in parochia de Kirkoswald com. de Carrik, reg. de 
Corsraguall vie. Ayr.' — {Beg. Mag. Sig. iv. 121.) 

[The estate of Threave belonged in 1847 to Mr. Torrance.] 
February 1602. George Fergusoun of Thraif was among those 
absolved, along with John, Earl of CassiHs, ' for convocation of his 
hienes' liegis, and beiring and weiring of hacque-buttis and pistol- 
ettis, breking of his hienes' peace.' — (P. C. Beg. v. 347, etc. ; Pit- 
cairn's Crim. Trials, iii. p. 172.) 


22nd Feb. 1610. Complaint by David F., brother of George 
F. of Thrave, that George Corrie of Kilwood and others 
came to the place of Thrave at four a.m., broke up the doors, 
entered David's chamber, and would have slain him, ' but for his 
own better defence and the help of others.' — (P. C. Beg. viii. pp. 
422 and 819.) 

1st March 1610. Complaint by George Corrie, etc., as not law- 
fully charged.— (P. C. Beg. viii. p. 432.) 

23rd Feb. 1610. Caution for Corrie, etc., by James Kennedy of 
Culzeane.— (P. C. Beg. viii. p. 720.) 

18th June 1612. David Fergussoun in Thraif witness to charter 
of J. Kennedy of Blairquhan at Maybole and Ayr, Jan. 1612. — 
(Beg. Mag. Sig. vi. 670.) 

29th July 1613. Complaint against David, brother of George F. 
of Thraif and others, for attacking Alexander Kennedy of Crago 
and others in Mayboill. — (P. C. Beg. x. p. 117.) 

10th Sept. 1617. Complaint by the King's Advocate, and 
Alexander Barclay in Maybole. ' Mr. Johne Fergusoun of Kilcar- 
rane and Cristeane Forester his mother, have conceived a deadly 
hatred against pursuer, and the former has made " divers unsetis " 
upon him. On Sunday — August last, while pursuer was "return- 
ing hame " from Stratoun to his parish kirk at Mayboill upon a 
little "sommer naig," David Fergussoun, brother of George F. 
of Thraif, alias "Davie the Devill," with armed accomplices sent 
out by the two defenders, came spurring after him, and rode along- 
side him for three miles, and at the parting of the highways at 
Kirkmichael, assaulted and wounded him,' and almost every day 
since the said Mr. John and David F. have openly carried hagbuts 
and pistoletts.— (P. C. Beg. xi. p. 234.) 

Counter-charge by the Lord Advocate and David F., that Barclay 
and another came out from a hiding-place with pistollets, as 
Fergusson was going to the kirk of Kirkmichael, presented a ' bend 
pistollet' at him, and fired through his hat 'hard be his head.' — 
(P. a Beg. xi. p. 235.) 

Dec. 15th 1657. Thomas Fergusone of Thrave, heir of George 
Fergusone of Thrave, his father, in the 6 markeland of Thrave : 
E. £6 and 6s. in augmentation : — The half-markland of Dallielung, 
within the parochine of Kirkoswall, earldome of Carrike, and 


regalitie of Corseraiguell, E. 15s. and 8d. in augmentation. — 
{Retours, Ayrshire, 496.) 

Aug. 22 1668. Georgius Ferguson haeres mascuhs, Thomae 
Fergusone de Thraiff fratris germani, in the same lands. — {Betours, 
Ayrshire, 557.) 


Note communicated by the Rev. Williami Fergusson, M.A.,for 
upwards of forty years minister of the Free Church at 
Ellon, Aberdeenshire, and now residing at Shannabnrn, 
Maryculter, Kincardineshire. 

Although born in Aberdeenshire, in the parish of Peter- 
culter, Mr. Fergusson is descended from an old Fergusson 
family in Ayrshire — now, he believes, only represented by the 
family of his father. Lieutenant James Hamilton Fergusson, of 
the 57th Regiment of Foot, son of James Fergusson of Little- 
ton, in the parish of Kirkoswald, Ayrshire, whose father, 
William Fergusson, left him in addition to Littleton, the 
following properties : AuchensouV the two Threaves,- Slow- 
bracken, and Basalloch, after having disposed of the lands of 
Crossraguel, near Maybole, which he inherited from his father, 
Francis Fergusson. The said William Fergusson studied 
theology, became a licentiate of the Church of Scotland, but 
never undertook a settled charge. He is said to have been 
a man of remarkable personal piety ; held regularly family 
worship three times every day — morning, noon, and night. 
There was a current legend as to the hearing of strange 
music at the window of the room, when and where he was 
passing away full of peace and happiness. His son, the said 
James Fergusson of Littleton, resided there till he sold it and 
the other above-named properties possessed by him when he 
removed to Maybole, where he died and was interred in the 
old burying-ground there, which his grandson, Rev. William 
Fergusson, Ellon, having occasion in 1858 to be in Ayrshire in 
prosecution of a call to the Rev. Samuel Kennedy, Stewarton, 
from the Free Church congregation of Cruden, visited, and 

1 See p. 358. 2 g^e p. 359. 


copied from the tombstone, then in an excellent state of pre- 
servation, the following inscription : — ' To the memory of 
James Fergiisson, Esq., late of Littleton, who died at Maybole 
22nd April 1824, aged 70 years.' He also visited Littleton, 
and had confirmed to him all the information furnished by 
his father, the above-named Lieutenant J. H. Fergusson, who 
was bom there in February 1795, and died at Parkhill 
Cottage, Peterculter, in February 1876. He received the 
middle name Hamilton from his mother's family, being 
connected with Professor Hamilton, of some celebrity in the 
Edinburgh University. He was a younger son. His eldest 
brother William, being in delicate health, emigrated to a 
warmer climate, and died abroad unmarried. The said 
WilHam agreed to his father disposing of one estate after 
another in order to pay off all the liabilities which he had in- 
curred through becoming security for a son-in-law and others. 
Lieutenant Fergusson heard for the first time of the sale of the 
family properties by being asked, at a public dinner in Aber- 
deen, ' why his father had sold a certain beautiful estate ? ' 
An unmarried sister who lived in Ayr, having predeceased 
him, the said Lieutenant Fergusson considered himself the 
last survivor of his family, which he was in the habit of 
characterising as one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the 
Fergussons of Ayrshire. He frequently repeated the state- 
ment that the Avhole of the land from Maybole to the sea 
belonged to an ancestor who was offered Ailsa Rock, opposite 
Littleton, but declined it. 

His son William, as stated, minister of the Free Church at 
Ellon, when he visited Palestine in the spring of 1880, had the 
pleasure of meeting there Mr. Hamilton, Town Clerk of Kil- 
marnock ; and, on his return home, found waiting him a letter 
announcing his appointment as an evangelistic deputy of the 
General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland to the said 
town, whither accordingly he went in the autumn of the same 
year, and had the opportunity of renewing acquaintance with 
the said Mr. Hamilton, who showed him a deed, dated 26th 
July 1728, stating that the Rev. Alexander Fergusson,^ minis- 
ter of the Gospel at Kilwinning, was the eldest lawful son of 

1 See p. 373. 


William Fergusson of Auchenblain, from which it is inferred 
that the Rev. James Fergusson of Kilwinning,i author of 
GoT^imentaries on sortie of tJie Lesser Epistles of the Apostle 
Paul, must have been related to the same Fergussons. 

The Rev. WilHam Fergusson, M.A., born 11th November 
1828, ordained as minister of the Free Church at Ellon on 
27th April 1854, married (first) on 18th May 1854 Margaret 
Lumsden, daughter of John Lumsden, Esq., Dee-Mouth, 
Aberdeen, Avho died in 1875. Issue : — 

1. William Fergusson, M.D., medical practitioner, Banff, who 
has two sons, William Manson and John James Lumsden. 

2. Son who died in infancy. 

3. The Rev. John James Foote Lumsden Fergusson, M.A., 
Presbyterian minister in New South Wales, who has a 
daughter, Margaret Wilsie, and son, Maurice Cameron. 

4. Helen Margaret Fergusson, sent by the Free Church to 
establish Female Mission Institution at Impolweni, Africa; 
had to return on account of her health, and is now head- 
mistress of a long-established boarding-school in Southamp- 
ton. The Rev. William Fergusson married (second) in 1877, 
Mary Gordon Heron Thomson, widow of Thomas Croil, Esq., 
Balmory, Bute. Granted a colleague by the General Assem- 
bly of the Free Church in May 1894, and now retired to 
Shannaburn, Maryculter, Kincardineshire, which was pur- 
chased by his wife in 1893. 


18th June 1601. The King for himself and as administrator for 
his son, Henry, Prince and Steward of Scotland, Duke of Rothesay, 
Earl of Carrick, grants 

Hugoni Fergussone in Pynmirrie commoranti in vitali redditu 
et Hectori Fergussoun ejus filio legitime heredibus ejus et assig- 
natis quibuscunque — 50 solidatas terrarum vocat. Latirpyn cum 
mansione silvis et piscationibus in parochia de Girvan, comitatu 
de Carrick, vie. Ayr. — (lieg. Mag. Sig. v. 1195.) 

15th July 1612. Hugh Fergussoun, Younger of Letterpin, sat 
on an assize. — {^Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 711.) 

Robert Ferguson of Letterpin was among those in arms at Both- 
well Bridge. 

1 See pp. 368 and 372. 


FERGUSSON OF FINNART, Parish of Ballantrae, 


' This family have been settled at Glenapp for more than 
two hundred years, and at first occupied the estate, of which 
they subsequently became proprietors, as " kyndlie tenants " 
of the Kennedies of Ardmillan, who held the lands under 
the Lairds of Culzean as their superiors. We find that 
James Kennedy of Culzean made over the lands in 1609 to 
Thomas Kennedy of Ardmillan, who afterwards sold them to 
Thomas Fergussone. The disposition in his favour by 
" Ardmyllane," with consent of " James Crawford of Baidland," 
is witnessed by his two relatives, " Alexander Fergussone of 
Kilkerran " and " James Fergussone of Millenderdale." 

' One of the Lairds of this family brought himself into 
serious trouble during the reign of Charles ii. He had been 
heavily fined by General Middleton ; and afterwards, although 
he did not, from his advanced age, appear at Bothwell, having 
been suspected of supplying money to the insurgents, he was 
compelled to leave the country, and in his absence was for- 
feited. He took shelter in Ireland, and remained in the 
county of Antrim from 1683 till the Revolution. During all 
this time the rents of his estate were kept from his famil}^ 
his wife and children driven from their home, and his house 
occupied by a Captain Seton. The Laird was at first in 
considerable distress, and, being anxious to remain in con- 
cealment, he entered the service of Mr. Gilleland of Collin, 
a erentleman who lived in a remote district in the north of 
Ireland, and whose grandfather had himself been forced, 
in the preceding reign, to flee from his property in the 
neighbourhood of Dundonald. Finnart's disguise was soon 
penetrated, and the greatest kindness shown to him by the 
family at Collin. After the Revolution, when Finnart had 
his lands restored to him, one of his daughters was married 
to Mr. Gilleland's eldest son, and ever since a warm friend- 
ship has existed between the descendants of the two 


' I. Thomas Fergussone of Finnart had as his wife Helen 
Mure, but it is not known of what family, as the present 
proprietor cannot discover the marriage-contract. He was 
succeeded by his son and heir, 

' 11. Hugh Fergussone of Finnart, who married Janet, 
daughter of David Kennedy of Bellimore, grandson of Gilbert 
Kennedy of Barclannochan, now Kilkerrane. 

'III. David Fergussone of Finnart succeeded his father, and 
married Mary, daughter of Hew Kennedy of Bennane. Issue — 

1. Robert, who succeeded. 

2. Agnes, who married her cousin, Hew Kennedy of 


3. Mary, married to John Forsyth of Balliston. 

' IV. Robert Fergusson of Finnart succeeded his father. 
After a life of much vicissitude, he died at Glenapp, un- 
married, in 1796, leaving his estate by deed of settlement to 
his sister's son, David Kennedy, younger of Bennane. 

' The mother of Hew Kennedy, husband of Agnes Fergus- 
son, was Margaret, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Fergusson, 
then of Castlehill. David Kennedy predeceased his father, 
but left a son, Hugh Fergusson Kennedy, now of Bennane 
(1847).' — (Paterson's History of Ayrshire Faynilies, p. 250.) 

(See also chapter xiii. on Ferguson Heraldry.) 

■ In a letter addressed (apparently) to the Earl of Marchmont by 
Hugh Cathcart of Carleton, dated Ayr, 1st June 1697, the 
Chancellor was informed of a complaint to the Ayrshire Commis- 
sioners of Supply by Hugh Fergusson of Finnart, in the Parish of 
Ballantrae, in the mouth of Loch Eyan, on the borders of Galloway, 
'a place much haunted by privatieres,' giving an account of 'ane 
cruell and barbarous treatment he mett with from a French 
privatier, who came into that place upon Sunday last. They stripj^ed 
himself naked, beat and wounded him, took him prisoner, tyed him 
naked as he was, threatned to carie him to France, pilladged and 
robbed his house, and left him nothing therein, no not soe much as 
ane cloath to wrap his poor young children in, left nothing about 
the house, but used severall wther acts of crueltie to himselfe, his 
wyfe, and familie.' — {Hist. MS. Com. 14th Eep., App. Part iii.) 



' The five shilling land of Millenderdaill belonged to the 
Grahames of Knockdolian in 1606. It was subsequently 
acquired by a branch of the Fergussons of Kilkerran. James 
Fergusone of Millenderdaill, heir of his father, John, was 
retoured in the lands in 1677. It is now (1847) the property 
of David Dalton Kennedy of Craig.' — (Paterson's History of 
Ayrshire Fainilies, p. 315.) 

May 10, 1677. Jacobus Fergusone de Millenderdaill hceres 
Joannis Fergusone de Millenderdaill patris, in 5 libratis terrarum 
de Millenderdaill et Pinjorie infra parochium de Calmonell et 
comitatum de Carrick. A. E. £o. N. E. £20.— (Betours, Ayr- 
shire, 606.) 

FERGUSSON OF THE CRAIG, Parish of Cohnouell. 

' These lands were acquired from the Kennedies of Kirk- 
hill by a branch of the Fergussons. John Fergusson of 
Craig died 1st October 1667, aged 55. He was married to 
Janet Lynn, who died 1st November 1689, aged 69. James 
Fergusson their son died 1st September 1701, aged 49. His 
spouse was Marion Gemmell. The tablet on the outer wall 
of the Churchyard of Cohnonell bearing this inscription was 
erected by Robert Fergusson, probably the grandson of John 
Fergusson of Craig. From the Fergussons the lands passed 
to a family of the name of Hutchison.' — (Paterson's History 
of Ayrshire Families, p. 312.) 


Oct. 31, 1700. Magister Robert Fergussone minister verbi Dei 
apud Calmonell lucres Joannis Fergussone de Castlehill, scriba^ in 
Ayr, patris. — {Betours, Gen., 8253.) 

(See chapter xiii. on Ferguson Heraldry, and also p. 371.) 


The territorial designations of this family are a little 
puzzling. James Ferguson of Bank — a member of a family 


long connected with the town of Ayr, another of whose 
members, John Fergusson of Doonhohn, an enterprismg 
Indian merchant, left a bequest which was the germ of the 
Ayr Academy — acquired by marriage the property of Monk- 
wood. His son, James Fergusson, an advocate, legal writer, 
and Principal Clerk of Session, is designed both as of Monk- 
wood and of Crosshill, and at one time was owner of Troch- 
raigue. He sold both Trochraigue and Monkwood to his 
brother, Mr. John Hutchison Fergusson. James Fergusson 
of Crosshill's eldest son. Major John Hutchison Fergusson, 
acquired by marriage the estate of Bassendean in Berwick- 
shire, and took the additional name of Home.^ His fourth 
son, William Fergusson, in consequence of a marriage with 
the heiress of Pollok of PoUok Castle, took the additional 
name of Pollok.'- 

Fergibsson of Monkwood. 
' James Ferguson of Bank, writer, married Miss Hutchison 
of Monkwood, and by that union became proprietor of that 
property. They had issue — 

1. James, who succeeded, married and had issue. 

3. John Hutchison, of Trochraigue, married and had issue. 

2. William, M.D., of Windsor, married and had issue 

(see p. 368). 

4. Anne, married to Dr. Dunlop, and had issue. 

The late James Ferguson of Monkwood, advocate, sold the 
estate of Monkwood to his brother, the late John H. 
Ferguson of Trochraigue, which has since been alienated, 
and now (1847) belongs to William Paterson of Monkwood.' — 
(Paterson's History of Ayrshire Families, ii. p. 371.) 

Fergusson of Trochraigue. 
' Trochrig, or Trochraigue, was acquired upwards of forty 
years ago (i.e. forty years prior to 1847) by the late James 
Fergusson of Monkwood, advocate, and by him sold to his 
brother, the late Mr. John Hutchison Fergusson. It is now 
(1847) possessed by his son, John H. Fergusson of Troch- 

^ See chapter xiii. Ferguson Heraldry. 
- Ibid. 


raigue, at present residing in Calcutta.' — (Paterson's History 
of Ayrshire Families, ii. p. 380.) 

Fergusson of Crosshill. 
'From 1807 to 1822 the lands of Nether Barr belonged 
jointly or wholly to James Fergusson of Crosshill.' — 
(Paterson's History of Ayrshire Families, ii. p. 258.) 

From the town of Ayr and family of Monkwood came 
two distinguished men of the name. William Fergusson, 
M.D., Inspector-General of Hospitals (1773-1846), brother of 
James Fergusson of Monkwood, was born at Ayr, 19th June 
1773, of a family of note in the burgh.' 'His father's 
family,' writes his son, ' had long been one of the most 
influential of his native place, and had filled the principal 
municipal offices when these were objects of ambition to 
the upper classes of provincial towns, and when the whole 
parish belonged in common to the burgh.' After serving as 
assistant-surgeon in the army in Holland, the Peninsula, and 
elsewhere, he practised in Edinburgh and subsequently in 
Windsor. His Notes and Recollections of a Professional Life 
were brought out after his death by his son James Fergusson 
(1808-1886), the eminent archaeologist and writer on archi- 

James Fergusson, Minister of Kilwinning'^ (1643-1667), 
author of several commentaries on the Pauline Epistles, 
was sprung from the house of Kilkerran, and is described as 
a man of eminent piety, ' much admired for his great and 
singular wisdom and prudence, being reckoned one of the 
wisest men of the nation, most fit to be a counsellor to any 
monarch in Europe.' 

James Ferguson of Cairnhrock (1787-1856), the founder of 
the Ferguson Bequest, was born at Irvine, and was the son 
of William Ferguson, a shipmaster of that port. His mother 
was the eldest child and only daughter of John Service of 
Holms of Caaf, a small property near Dairy, in Ayrshire. 
* The Fergusons belonged to the neighbourhood of Irvine, 
having been tenants of Craixland, a farm in the parish of 

1 See p. 372. 


Dundonald, for at least three generations. The memory of 
Mr. Ferguson's grandfather was long cherished in the district 
as that of a cheerful Christian. He was an elder in the 
parish church during the ministry of Mr. Walker (extend- 
ing from 1732 to 1780) . . . who — an earnest evangeHcal 
minister — was sometimes cast down in spirit, and on these 
occasions the farmer of Craixland was often sent for to 
converse with and cheer him. Mr. Ferguson's father was 
bred a sailor, and in course of time became owner of a small 
vessel which traded between the coast of Ayrshire and the 
Clyde. His probity was such that he usually went by the 
name of the honest skipper.' John Ferguson as a young 
man spent four years in America, and after returning to this 
country ultimately succeeded to the fortune acquired by his 
maternal relatives. In 1828 he purchased the lands of 
Cairnbrock, m the parish of Kirkcolm, Wigtonshire, to which 
the adjoining lands of Airies were added in 1854. He had 
previously (1821) purchased the farm of Whitelee, in the 
parish of Stewarton. Of his large fortune of £1,247,514, he 
left personal legacies to the amount of £681,000, devoting 
the rest to religious, educational, and philanthropic objects. 
For the details of these, reference must be made to the 
exhaustive report made by Mr. Tait to the Trustees of ' the 
Ferguson Bequest Fund,' giving a ' narrative of the formation 
and past operation of the Trust, with some particulars of 
Mr. Ferguson's family,' which was published in 1883.^ 


Fergushill was the surname of an old family, now extinct, 
who possessed the lands of Fergushill in Ayrshire. John 
Fergushill, an eminent minister of the seventeenth century, 
whose life was left in ms. by Wodrow, was the son of David 
Fergushill, merchant, and for some time Provost of Ayr. His 
name occurs twice in the matriculations of the University 
of Glasgow — in March 1605, and again in 1611. Licensed 
about the end of 1616, he became minister at Ochiltree. In 
March 1620 he was cited before the Court of High Commis- 

^ Universal Dictionary of National Biography, vol. xviii. 
.2 A 


sion for nonconformity to the Perth articles. He was 
appointed minister of Ayr in 1639, and died in 1644. 

James Fergusson, minister of Kilwinning, 1643-67, has been 
identified by the editor of Baillie's Letters with a Mr. James 
Fergushill mentioned in them. A similar interchange of 
the names Ferguson and Fergushill has been noticed by 
the Kev. John Ferguson, minister of Aberdalgie. While 
Scott in his Fasti gives John Fergushill as minister of 
Ochiltree dealt with by the Court of High Commission in 
1620, Calderwood in his History (iii. p. 428), gives an account 
of ' The Proceedings of the Hie Commission against Mr. Johne 
Fergisone, sett down by Himselfe, at Glasgow, the 28th March 
1620,' and says, ' Mr. John Fergisone was ordained to enter 
in waird in Perth.' In Scott's Narrative of the Kirk the 
name is also given as Ferguson. 


1489. Arthur Fergussone appears as tenant of Cuttiswra, 
Stewarton, Ayrshire. — {Exch. Rolls, x.) 

1517. Part of CuttisAvra let to Robert Fergusson and Isabella 
Dunlop. — {Exch. Rolls, vol. xiv.) 

1465. Sa. Johannis Fargusoun to Nynflaris, annualrent tharof 
(Lanark). — {Exch. Rolls, iv.) 

1605, John Fergussoun de Cromgart mentioned in a charter of 
3rd Dec. to Alan Cathcart of Carltoun. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. i.) 

28th April 1613. Thomas Fergusoun in Glenhead, along with 
John Kennedy of Blairquhan and others, complained of for attacking 
John M'lvaine, y^ of Grummett, while 'reposing himself in sober 
manner within the Kaitchepoole of Mayboill. — (P. C. Reg. x. 
p. 42.) 

1630. Hector Fergusson in Penmyrrie was served heir of Hugh, 
alias Hucheon, Fergusson in Peinmyrrie, his father. 

Dec. 9, 1686. Thomas Fergusone, incola in Enterkine Mains, 
p. agn. id est, c. ex. p. p. Margaretae Fergusone, filiae Joannis 
Fergusone, qui fuit filius Jacobi F., portionarii de Milneburne. — 
{Inq. de Tutela, 1096.) 

Jan. 28, 1687. Margareta Fergusson, filia Joannis Fergusson, 
portionarii de Milnburn, haeres Jacobi Fergusson, portionarii de 


Milnburn, Air, in mercata terrse antiqui extentus de Milnburne, 
infra dominium de Kylesmuir et Barnemuir. — (Betours, Ayrshire, 

Jan. 20, 1698. Eobertus Fergussone, hceres Joannis Fergussone, 
junioris, portionarii de Auchintiber, fratris germani. — (Betours, 
General, 7990.) 


1595, 25 Nov. 

Thomas Ferguson of ErreafF- = Janet Grierson. 
miilters (?), Ayr +1593. 


George James (i.) James (ii.) Thomas David Elizabeth Margaret Janet 

1595, Dec. 17. 

Janet Blair and Lady = 
Grennan, Ayr, 

I I 

David Dunbar of = Marian Ferguson Janet Ferguson. 
Daldan (?) 


(From the Fasti Scoticance Ecdesim.) 

Colnionell {Presbytery of Stranraer). 

1698. Kobert Fergussone, son of John F. of Castlehill, 

writer, Ayr: studied at the Un. of GL; licens. by the Pres. 31 

May 1698, called in June and ad. Sept. foil. ; died in 1735, in 

37th min. — [Inq. Bet. Gen. 8253 ; Mun. Univ. GL iii. ; Pres. 

Syn. and Test. Reg. {Glas.y] 

1735. Eobert Fergusson, A.M., grad. GL 1st May; licens. 
by Pres. 3rd May 1734 ; called 23rd June, and ad., 25th Sept. 
1735; trans, to Ayr, 2nd charge, 13th Sept. 1758. — [Mun. 
Univ. Glasg. iii. ; Presb. and Syn. Reg.] 

Barnwell (Ayr). 
1616. John Fergussone, son of William F., burgess of 
Glasgow, pres. by James vi., 21st July; served nearest agnate 
to children of Robert Fergussone, commissary-clerk of Lorn, 
4 April 1634 ; continued 4 Aug. 1639, and died subsequently. 
A son, Alexander, was a student at the University of Glasgow 


in 1647. — [Wodrow mss. ; Reg. Sec. Sigill. and Pres. ; Ayr 
Sess.: Test (Glas.), and Edin. Reg. {Bap.)] Inq. Ret. de Tut 
508, 509 ; Syn. Roll, 1642 ; Mun. Univ. Glas. iii.] 

Ayr (Second Charge). 

1758. Robt. Ferguson, A.M., trans, from Colmonell ; died 
17 Nov. 1760, in 26th min. Married, 29th Aug. 1737, 
Margaret, youngest daughter of Mr. Henry Osburn, min. 
of Tarbolton. She died, 9th Aug. 1769, and had two sons, 
Robert and Hugh, captain in the army, and four daughters, 
Janet, Ehzabeth, Mary, and Henrietta. — [Presh. and Test Reg, 
Glasg.) ; Tomhst, etc.] 

Kilwinning {Irvine). 

1643. James Ferguson, A.M., of the family of Kilkerran, 
grad. Gl. Un. 1638; pres. by Alex. Earl of Eglinton, and ad. 
in June 1643 ; member of Ass., 1648, and received calls both 
from Edinburgh and Glasgow, but remained ; and died, 13th 
March 1667, in his 47th year and 24th min. Esteemed for 
his great piety and learning as ' a most wise, gracious, and 
able man,' who scorned to accept a bishopric when it was 
offered. He had lying money xl. li.; insicht, etc., j^^xxx. li. vi. s. 
viiid. Erie geir, j*^^ li. lix. li. xvi. s. iid. He married Jean Inglis, 
who died, 4th Jan. 1687, and had two sons, James and Hew, 
and a daughter, Mary, who married Robert Christie, merchant, 

Publications — 

' Exposition of the Epistles to the Philippians and Co- 

lossians.' Edin. 1656 ; sm. oct. 
' Exposition of the Epistles to the Galatians and Ephe- 

sians.' Edin. 1659 ; sm. oct. 
' Exposition of the Epistles to the Thessalonians.' Glas. 

1675 ; sm. oct. 
'Refutation of the Errors of Toleration, Erastianism, 

Independency, and Separation.' Edin. 1692; sm. 

Several Sermons. 
An Essay on Singing of Psalms, in MS., never pubHshed. 


[Refutat. New Stat. Ace. v. ; Presb. Edin. (Man.) and Test. 
Beg. (Glas.); Reg. Old Dec.; Baillie's Letters; Kirkton and 
Wodrow's History and Correspondence; Acts of Ass.; Mem. 
of Eglintoun, ii., etc.] 

1721. Alex. Fergusson, A.M., Un. Glas.; licens. by Pres. 
of Ayr, 31 Marcli 1718; called, 2nd Nov. 1720, and ad. 14 
March foil. Being disabled by age and infirmity from official 
duty, he was assisted in succession by five respectable pro- 
bationers, to whom he generously gave the whole of his 
stipend. Suspected of holding opinions which were after- 
wards known in Ayrshire as ' the New Light,' he was libelled 
by James MacConnell, a town-drummer in Beith, whom the 
Presbytery held to be ' not immediately concerned and 
illiterate,' and therefore took the case into their own hands, 
and, having appointed a committee to meet with him, they 
received such satisfaction as warranted their recommendation 
that the affair be dismissed, which was accordingly done, 
8th Aug. 1769. He died, 16 Feb. 1770, in his 81st year, and 
49th min. Publication — 'Letter from one Clergyman to 
another' (Scots Mag. xxix.). — [Mtin. Un. Glas. iii. ; Presb. 
Reg. ; Scots Mag. xxix. xxxi.; New Stat. Ace. v., and Morrison's 
Digest, etc.] 

Dreghorn (Irvine). 

1652. Archibald Fergussone, A.M., grad. St. And. 1642 ; 
studied theology, Glasg.; lie. there, 29th Jan. 1645; ad. about 
April foil, as min. of the Presbyterian congregation at Antrim. 
He was commissioned by the Gen. Ass., 1649, that their 
interest might be procured towards promoting with the civil 
government protection and safety for himself and his Pres- 
byterian brethren. After his supplication had been made 
he returned, but, with several others, was obliged to leave in 
1650 on account of the persecution. 

He probably returned to his former charge in Ireland, and 
died in Dec. 1654, aged about 33, in 10th min; His wife, 
Janet Cunninghame, died in June 1652. — [Mun. Un. Glas. 
iii.; Act. Rect. Un. St. And.; Balfour's Hist. Works, iii.; 
Test. Reg. (Glas.) ; Reid's Ireland, ii.] 


Fenwick, or New Kilmarnock (Irvine). 

1836. Robert Ferguson, A.M., grad. Edin. 1828 ; pres. by 
Earl of Glasgow ; trans, to St. David's, Edin., and adm. 16 
May 1843. Joined Free Church. Died at Gracefield, Dum- 
friesshire, 18th Dec. 1866, 'having been a faithful and 
successful minister, in Avhom there was much of the scholar 
and the gentleman.' Married, first, 10 Oct. 1836, Agnes 
Lidgate, who died 30 Nov. 1853; second, 3rd April 1856, 
Elizabeth Black, who survived him. Publications — 'The 
New Creature,' a Sermon: Edin. 1844; 'Account of the 
Parish' {New Stat. Ace. v.). — [Edin. Grad. Pres. Reg.; Pro- 
ceedings, Free Church Ass., 1843, etc.] 

Kilmaurs (Irvine). 

1734. Samuel Ferguson, A.M., grad. Glas., 1 May 1724; 
lie. Pres. of Ayr, 1730; called, 19th Dec. 1733, and ad. 27th 
March; died 1735, aged about 31. — [Mitn. Un. Glas. iii. ; 
Presb. Reg. ; New Stat. Ace. v.] 



The name of Fergusson is undoubtedly of great antiquity in 
the south-west. It has indeed been said that the Fergus- 
sons of Craigdarroch are the oldest family in Scotland, and 
they have in any case held an honourable position as land- 
owners, from father to son, for many centuries. Various 
other families are either known, are reported, or may be pre- 
sumed to be cadets of Craigdarroch ; and it is an interesting 
fact that the name should be found so firmly established at 
an early period in a region which, though so far south, was 
so distinctly Celtic in character as Galloway. The physical 
features of the region south of the Picts' Dyke, which runs 
from Loch Ryan to Sanquhar on the Nith, have perhaps more 
in common with the districts north of the Forth and Clyde 
than with the rest of the southern Lowlands, the place-names 
are kindred to those of the north ; and while in its Pictish 
substratum the population was akin to the race that peopled 
Fife and Fortrenn, Athole and Angus, Mar and Buchan, it 
undoubtedly received a very large Scottish element from 
Dalriadic Argyllshire, and formed at one time a place of 
refuge for the dynasty of Fergus. 

The principal cadet branches of the House of Craigdarroch 
were those of Isle and of Caitloch. One of the family of Isle 
represented Dumfriesshire in the last Scottish ParHament, 
and a Fergusson of Caitloch was a fugitive in Holland, while 
his family suffered great hardships prior to the Revolution 
There were also Fergussons of Over M'Kilstoun, Chapelmark, 
Corrochdow, Fourmerkland, Brekansyde, and Auldgarth ; and 
references occur to ' the gudeman of Blaikistoun,' ' Sandie of 
Knokhachill,' and a turbulent Nithsdale fugitive known as 


' Da^de in the Riggis.' There was also for long connected 
with the hurgh of Lochmaben the Fergusson family, now of 
Spitalhaugh in Peeblesshire. 

We are able, through the courtesy of Captain Cutlar-Fer- 
gusson of Craigdarroch, to print an interesting MS. account of 
his family, which bears to have been written in the reign of 
Queen Anne, and gives an extremely clear and well-vouched 
narrative of its descent for several generations. This will be 
supplemented by further materials selected from the Craig- 
darroch papers, and by information collected from other 
sources relative both to the Craigdarroch and other families 
of the name in the south-western counties. 

' There is hardty a country churchyard in the district,' 
writes Mr. G. T. Fergusson, 'Avithout the name appearing 
more or less frequently on the tombstones. The Fergussons 
of Dumfriesshire have always been noted for the uprightness 
and integrity of their character, for moral rather than intel- 
lectual quaHties — perhaps I should say that while the intelli- 
gence was of a high order, the morality was even higher. To 
this, a disposition to oblige, to crack a joke, and to help a 
friend in need, might also be added. The Fergussons were 
not rolling stones so far as this country is concerned. They 
stick to their last, and can always be dejDcnded on to do their 
duty in whatever sphere their lot happens to be cast.' 




The earliest notices, which very probably refer to the Fer- 
gussons in the district, are found in two charters, one granted 
between 1214 and 1249 to the Abbots of Melrose, in which 
one of the witnesses is Fergus of Glencairn, and the other a 
charter of the Abbot of Dryburgh, dated 1222, where Doniinus 
Fergutianus de Glenkarn is also a witness. 

The Graigdarroch MS. 

' John Crawford of Balmakane grants a charter of con- 
firmation to Jonkyne Fergusson, Lord of Graigdarroch, for the 
four nierk worth land of Jargbruch and mill of Balmakane, 
dated the sixth of July 1398, which is the oldest I find bear- 
ing date. Tho' there is another granted by John Crawford, 
son to the Laird of Dalgarn, to John Fergusson of Craigdar- 
roch for the mill of Balmakane, which would appear to be 
older, but the date and some of the body of the charter is not 
legible. There is also another, anno 1484. John Fergus- 
son of Graigdarroch, as son and heir of Matt : Fergusson of 
Graigdarroch, is infeft in the lands of Graigdarroch, etc., and 
others mentioned in the two sasines under the hand of Tho : 


Lockliart, X.R, dated the last of April 1484. Thomas Fergus- 
son, son and heu' to John Fergusson, is infeft in Jerbruch, etc., 
Nov. 6th, 1514, in the 3rd year of Pope Leo x. He obtained 
a charter from Robert, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, Lord of 
the Barronie of Crawfordston, to Jerbruch pro suis grati- 
tudinihus bene iiieritis mihi onwltipliciter hnpressis, dated 
May 14th, 1508. Robert Fergusson is infeft as son and heir 
to the said Thomas, by precept of dare constat granted by 
Edward, Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, in the lands therein 
ment, and sasine thereupon, 28th Feby. 1563. And Will: 
Master of Glencairn, with consent of Cuthbert, Earl of 
Gleneaim, his father, grants a charter to the said Robert 
and Janet Cunningham, his spouse, of the lands of Caitloch, 
etc., May 8th, 1534. John Fergusson, son and heir to the 
said Robert, is infeft in his estate upon a precept of dare 
constat granted by James, Earl of Glencairn, Lord Killmares, 
Kilmarnock, etc., dated 18th Oct. 1587, and upon another 
precej)t granted by Robt. Lord Crichton, etc., dated at Edinr. 
1589, May 27th. Robert, son and heir to John Fergusson 
of Craigdarroch, his father, enters by j)recept of dare constat 
granted by William, Lord Kilmares, dated at the Castle of 
Glencairne, 5th Sept. 1612 years, and sasine under subscrip- 
tion of Cuthbert Cunningham of the date foresaid. He 
married Catherine Cunningham, and had by her John and 
William, Edward, Thomas, and Robert. John, by virtue of 
precept by Will., Lord Crichton of Sanquhar, enters heir 
of John Fergusson, his grandfather, dated 27th June 1615. 
Infeft July 7th. The said John, by another precept from 
Wm., Lord Kilmares, enters heir to Robert Fergusson, his 
father, 23rd Nov. 1613. Infeft 15th February 1614. John 
dying without issue, William Fergusson enters to John, his 
brother, by virtue of a precept by Will., Lord Crichton, 
dated at Doncaster, in England, March 18th, 1628, upon 
which he is infeft 5th April following. King Charles i., by 
his charter of erection, dated at Edinburgh the 4th day of 
July 1636 {et anno regni 12), erects the village and lands of 
Monyive into a free burgh of Barronie (to be called the 
Barrony of Monyive, in favours of William, Earl of Dumfries, 
Viscount of Ayr, Lord Sanquhar, etc., his heirs and successors. 


etc., in the burgh of Barrony of Glencau-ne, then and in all 
time coming, with free power to make Baillies and other 
necessary officers of the said burgh, granting to the burgesses 
thereof all powers and priviledges belonging to the burgesses 
of any other burgh of barrony, as is more fully exprcst in the 
said charter, with a weekly market every Tuesday and two 
fairs in the year, being one upon the sixteen day of June, 
called the Midsummer fair, and the other the last day of 
September, called the Michaelmas fair, each to last three 
days. The said William, Earl of Dumfries, etc., by his 
charter dated Edinr., 9th July 1636, for several causes and 
considerations moving him thereto, gives, grants, and con- 
firms to William Fergusson of Craigdarroch, his heirs, execu- 
tors and assignees whatsomever, heritably, all and haill the ten 
pound land of old of Caidzlauch, Blairoch, Stroneba, 

Benbuy, Corrockdows, and Camanell, jacentia infra haronia 
de Glencaime et vicecowdtatit de Diimfries una cum hiirgo 
haronim de Moneyive forum hepdomadariuTii, etc., with all 
other liberties, priviledges, and immunities contained in the 
foresaid charter of erection at length. I find an authentic 
double of the National Covenant among the archives of this 
family direct to this Gentleman, with the principal subscrip- 
tions subscribed by several nobility, particularly, Rothes, 
Montrose, Gassilis, Hume, Fleming, Lindsay, Balcarres, For- 
rester, Dalhousie, Balmerino, Johnstoun, Loudoun, Drum- 
langrig, Boyd, Yester, Egiintoune, Burghly, Eraser, etc., and 
severals of the gentry, as Dalyell, Dundas of that Ilk, Gibson 
of Durie, Sir David Murray of Stenhop, Wm. Scott of Harden, 
Gab : Hamilton of Raploch, W. Elliot of Stops, Arbuthnot of 
that nk, etc. This William Fergusson married Sara Grier- 
son, daughter to Sir William Grierson of Lag, by contract 
dated at Rockell the 9th day of May 1621, to be perfected 
betwixt and the first of July then next to come. She bore 
to him Robert, his heir and successor, Nicholas Fergusson, 
contracted to Alexr. Gordon of Knock-gray, the 7 th Novr. 
1646, to be perfected betwixt and the 1st January thereafter ; 
Sara Fergusson, married to Adam Newall of Barskeoch, by 
contract dated Craigdarroch, 29th Nov. 1665, who bare him 
several children, all deceased. The said Robert Fergusson, 


by precept from the Earl of Queensberry, 4tli August 1647, 
enters to Wm., his father, and married Margaret Chahners, 
Relict of David Crawford of Kerse, the contract dated at 
Kerse, the 20th day of August 1668. He married Eliz : 
Grierson, Relict of umquhile Robert Maxwell of Tinwall, and 
daughter of Sir Robt. Grierson of Lag, by contract dated 
22nd July 1653. Witnesses, Ja : Earl of Queensberry, consenter 
thereto. Sir Jo : Grierson of Lag, his brother, James Douglas 
of Mouswall, etc. The said Elizabeth Grierson ^ bare to him 
John Fergusson, his heir, and Anna Fergusson, married to 
Matthew Hairstanes of Craigs, who bare him one son, John, 
who died without issue ; and, last of all, he married Agnes 
Douglass, daughter to Alexr. Douglass of Baitfoord, and 
relict of John Hairstanes of Craigs, April 15th, 1676, who 
bare to him Robert Fergusson of Baitfoord, who died without 
issue, and Isobel Fergusson, who succeeded to her brother, 
and married Col : Thos., third son to Sir Robt. Dalyell of 
Glenae, who hath borne to him Jean and Thomas. The said 
Robert Fergusson dying, devolved the estate upon 

John, his son, who married Eliz : M^Ghie, daughter to Alexr. 
M'Gie of Balmagie, May 1682. She bare him three sons 
and two daughters, viz. Robert, William, and Eliz. who died 
young, Alexander Fergusson, now of Craigdarroch, and 
Grissel, who. Anno 1710 (without the advice or knowledge 
of her friends), married James Lothian, Cornet to the royal 
browns, commanded by the Earl of Stair, in the sixteen of her 
present Majesty Queen Anne, and hath no children at the 
writing hereof This Gentleman was of an excellent spirit, 
and had he been spared to come of years, would been inferior 
to none of his Ancestours. He was called by the States, after 
the Abdication of K. Ja : 7th, to serve the Government in the 
station of Lieut.-Collonel of the regiment of foot commanded 
by the Viscount of Kenmure, in which post he behaved with 
a suitable prudence and valour. But through the perfidy of 
his servant, who carried off his horses, was killed at Gille- 

^ Before he married this lady he had Grissel Douglas, daughter to James 
Douglas of Mortoun, his first spouse, who bare to him William Fergusson, 
designed in his contract with the Lady Tinwall his only son and heir-male, 
where mention of the daughter, of the first marriage. 1st, Grissel Douglas ; 
2nd, Lady Tinwall ; 3rd, Lady Carse ; 4th, Lady Craigs. 


crankie in July 1689, about the 28th year of his age, his 
death being yet lamented by all who knew his worth. His 
Lady married Capt. Walter Johnston, Captain of Dragoons 
in Coll : Jo : Cunningham's regiment, brother german to Sir 
John Johnston, and son to Sir James Johnston of Westerhall, 
who dying, she was married to Major William Ogilvy, son to 
Sir Francis Ogilvie of New Grange, brother to the Earl of 
Airly, who being wounded at the battle of Janies, died eleven 
days after of his wounds, at Brussels, being Sept. 11th, 1709. 
and thereafter she returned to Craigdarroch, where she is at 
present. Alexr. Fergusson, born 3rd Novr. 1G85, succeeding 
to his father in the lands and estate of Craigdarroch, married 
Mrs. Anne Laurie,^ daughter to the deceast Sir Robt. Lawrie 
of Maxwelton, upon Aug. 29th, 1709, who bore him Jean, their 
eldest daughter and child, upon Tuesday, 29th May 1711. 

' The Coat Armoriall given to the said Robert Fergusson of 
Craigdarroch for his Atchievement and ensign armorial, and 
extracted furth of the Register of Sir Charles Arskine of 
Cambo, Lyon King of Arms, is blazoned thus : The said 
Robert Fergusson of Craigdarroch for his atchievement and 
ensign armorial bears : — Argent, a Lyon Rampant azure on a 
chief gules, a MoUet betwixt a cross crosslet ; Sheveron (?) on 
Dexter, and a rose on the sinister of the Shield. Above the 
shield an helmet befitting his degree, mantled, gules, doubled 
Argent. Next is placed on the torse (?), for his crest a dexter 
hand grasping a broken spear in bend, proper. The Motto, in 
an EscroU: Vi et Arte. Dated Edin^, 4th Dec. 1673.' 

Recommendation from, the Parliament to the King's Majestie 
in favour of the Lady Craigdarroch. 

'At Edinburgh, the eleventh day of July 1690 years, anent 
the petition given in and presented to their Majesties' High 
Commissioner and the estates of Parliament by the Lady 
Craigdarroch for herself and her children, showing that 
where the petitioner's deceased husband was killed at Killie- 
crankie in his Majestie's service, and for defence of the 
kingdom against the Rebels, and that besydes his Life he 
lost also about 6000 merks in gold and silver. Likeas by 
his death the whole lands and estate (saving a small piece of 

1 Bonnie Annie Laurie. 


land that holds ward of the king's Majestie) are fallen m 
ward to the Duke of Queensberry, superior thereof, which 
ward being to endure all the space of the petitioner's son's 
minority, not yet above five years of age, and there being 
also a considerable debt upon the estate, will of necessity 
brinc' ruin upon the minor and his father's family, there 
being no estate free to pay a rent,^ which in that space must 
run up and would infallibly exhaust all, and yet tho' the 
petitioner be in terms to compone for the ward, yet that 
composition would only make a greater accession to the 
debt, and prove a load upon a burden, which things being 
so pressing in the petitioner's case, they in all humility put 
their Majestie's Commissioner and Estates of Parliament in 
mind of the old laws and Acts of Parliament made and 
almost constantly respected upon like occasions, as by King 
James 4th, anno 1513, King James 5th, anno 1522, Queen 
Mary 1551, and King James 6th, 1571 years. By all which 
it is expressly provided. That if any man be slain or hurt to 
the death in the host or army against the King's enemies 
or Traytors, The heirs of them that are slain shall have 
their waird's relief and marriage in all manner provided in 
the said Acts, which albeit they have been construed (?) 
whole, and been temporary, and to respect the war only 
that then was, yet the Act King James 5th, pari. 2, caput. 
.3rd provides expressly in the case of war, moved or to be 
moved, and the constant repeating of the said laws as said is, 
with the inserting thereof in the printed Acts seems to im- 
port that the same should be in force m all times : At least 
it is beyond all doubt that the high and honourable courts 
of Parliament will still regard the petitioner's case with all the 
favour that these Acts import, especialty it being presum- 
able that if the said favour had been desired a year ago for 
the encouragement of such as were to venture their lives in 
their Majestie's service, it had certainly been granted, and 
the petitioner's husband therein comprehended: Therefore 
seeing the condition of the petitioner's son and family is 
deplorable, and that all the ancient laws are so favourable, 
and that the petitioner's only relief under God depends upon 
the Estates of Parliament, Therefore humbly craving that 

^ Annual rent (?). 


their Majesties' High Commissioner and Estates of Parha- 
ment in consideration of the premises would declare that 
the said waird and all other damages that the petitioner 
hath sustained in manner above mentioned shall be fully 
satisfied, and to appoint such a fund for that effect, either 
out of the first and readiest of the present Forefaultors or 
any other way their Majesties' Commissioner and the said 
Estates of Parliament should find most reasonable and 
effectual as may completely repair the same, and save a 
poor family from being ruined as the said petition fully 
bears; which petition being upon the day and date hereof 
read in Parliament, and they having heard and considered 
the same, humbly recommended and do hereby humbly 
recommend the petitioner to his Majestie's grace and favour: 
And the Estates of Parliament aforesaid entreated, and do 
hereby entreat the Lord Commissioner's grace to transmit the 
said petition to his Majestic. Extracted forth of the Records 
of Parliament by me.' 

Act in favours of the Lady Craigdarroch. 
' At Edin*". the eighteenth day of March 1691 years. His 
Majesty's Letter underwritten direct to the Lords Com- 
missioner of their Majistie's Theasurie was presented and 
read, and ordained to be booked, whereof the tener follows lU 
supra scribitur. William R. Right trustie and well-beloved 
cousins and counsellors, we greet you well. Whereas Eliza- 
beth M^Gie, Lady Craigdarroch, having given in a petition 
for herself and children to our parliament of our ancient 
kingdom of Scotland, shewing that John Fergusson her 
husband was killed at Kalliecrankie in our service, and that 
his lands and estate (except a small part thereof) did fall in 
ward, which (with debt due by him) will bring ruin upon his 
heirs and family, by which petition she did put our said parlia- 
ment in mind of the several Acts of Parliament made by 
King James the fourth, King James the fifth, Queen Mary, 
and King James the sixth, all which proved. That if any man 
be slain in the army against the King's enemies, that their heirs 
shall have their waird's relief and marriage, and thereupon 
humbly craved that our said Parhament would declare that 
the value of the said Ward and other damages foresaid 


should be satisfied, and to appoint a fund for that effect 
either out of forfeitures or any other way they should find 
most reasonable and effectual to save her family from ruin, 
whereupon the said Estates of Parliament did recommend 
the petitioner to our grace and favour, and we being certainly 
informed that the estate is under considerable debts, That 
Grissel Fergusson, the said John Fergusson's onl}^ daughter 
is unprovided, and that the said Lady has disposed of or 
burdened her Joynture for satisfying the compositions payed 
for the said ward, and we having a kind respect for and 
tenderness toward the widow and children of those who 
losseth their lives and goods for us or in our service, have 
resolved to show some mark thereof. It is therefore our 
will and pleasure, and we do hereby authorize and require 
you to pay, or cause to be payed, with and under the reser- 
vation after specified, to Alexander and Grissel Fergussons 
children of the deceast John Fergusson, equally between 
them and their heirs, executors, and assignees, and failing 
either of them by decease before the child so deceasing be 
major or married. Then the said child's half to fall, accresce, 
and pertain to the other child surviving, and faillzing both 
the said children before they or any of them be married or 
attain to the age of twenty-one years complete, then both 
these halfs to the said Elizabeth M'^Gie their mother, all and 
haill the soume of ten thousand marks, Scots money, and 
that out of the first Best and readiest of the maills, ferms, 
duties, casualties, tynds, and the rents and profits of the 
Bishoprick of Galloway, reserving always to the said Eliz. 
M'^Gie her liferent of the said Grissel her half above specified 
of the s^ soume, for doing whereof this shall be your warrand, 
and so we bid you heartily farewell. Given at our Court of 
Kensington, the 29*^ day of December 1690 years, and of our 
reign the second year. By his Majesty's command {sic suh- 
scribitur), ' Melvill.' 

'The Lord Commissioners of their Majestie's Thesaury 
having considered the above written letter of his Majesty, 
and that the rents of the bishoprick above specified for crept 
1689 is already disposed upon, except an inconsiderable part 
thereof, which is lyable to several incumbrances, as also that 


his Majesty has gifted the rents of the whole Bishoprick 
cropt and year 1690 to the Presbyterian Ministers ; so that 
until the rents and duties of the cropt and year 1691 be due 
and payable, no payment can be made to the above-named 
Lady Craigdarroch of the above-specified sum of ten thou- 
sand merks ; yet, nevertheless, the said Lords to show their 
willingness to give obedience to his Majestie's commands, 
do therefore hereby ordain Sir Patrick Murray, Receiver 
of their Majesties' Rents, or any others for the time being, 
to pay unto the said Lady, as Tutrix Dative to her children 
above named, the foremen tioned soume of ten thousand 
merks out of the first and readiest of the said rents of the 
Bishopric of Galloway, due and payable of the cropt and 
year 1691, and in time coming. The terms of payment 
thereof being first come and bygone, and that how soon as 
the said rents shall come in to the said Sir Patrick, or any 
other for the time being in his office, and which soume 
is to be applyd in manner and for the use above mentioned 
(sic subscribitur) . Raith Thes®*"* Dep**, Crawford, Cassills, 
Exeter. (Sic subscribitur), ' Tho. Moncrieff.' 

John of Crawford, son to the Laird (Dominus), of Dalgar- 
nock (by his charter of alienation, without date), grants, gives, 
and confirms to his beloved cousin, John Fergusson (Domino 
de Craigdarroch), his mill in Balmakane in Jargbruch, and 
to his heirs and assignees, etc., with room to build a mill- 
house with free ish and entrie thereto, etc. There is another 
very old charter by the same person to John Fergusson in an 
old hand, without date, at least not legible, Ut in primario 
hujus libelli. John Crawford of Balmakane, by his charter, 
dated Feby. 6th, 1398, grants a charter of confirmation of 
the four merks worth of land of Jarbruch and the mill, 
and confirms to Jonkyne Fergusson, his son, right to the mill 
of Jarbruch, etc. 

The said Robert having erected a bridge at Minnyive at his 
own charges, he obtains an act of Parliament in his favours 
(dated at Edinburgh, third day of August 1661) whereby his 
Majestic, with advice and consent of the estates of Parlia- 
ment, ordains the said Robert Fergusson to be payed of 
twelve pennies Scots for each head of nolt, and two shillings 

2 B 


Scots for every twenty sheep passing through the said town 
of Minnyive, and empowers him to exact the same accord- 
ingly, and ordains him to repair and uphold the said bridge 
therewith in all time coming. Exd. by A. Primrose, CI. Beg. 
iVo^a.— Morton Castle, 16th April 1657. WiUiam John- 
ston of Forhead, with consent of James Johnston his father, 
contracts in marriage with Janet Douglass, lawful daughter 
to the deceast James Douglass of Morton, with consent of W. 
Duke (sic) of M. (her) brother-german, and Robert Fergusson 
of Craigdarroch, her brother-in-law. William Douglass of 
Drumlangrig is witness to a charter granted by William 
Cunninghame, Master of Glencairne, with consent of Cuthbert 
Earl, his father, to Jo. F. of Craigdarroch. Edward L. 
Crichton grants a charter to Craigdarroch ; John Wilson, yr. 
of Crogland witness to a sasine, Sept. 5, 1612. 

Note of Pedigree communicated by Captain K Cutlar- 
Fergusson of Craigdarroch. 

1. Mathew Fergusson. 

2. John Fergusson, succeeded in 1484. 

3. Thomas Fergusson, m. daughter of the Lord Crighton 

of Sanquhar, about 1508. 

4. Robert Fergusson, m. Janet, daughter of the Earl of 

Glencairn about 1534. 

5. John Fergusson, m. Margaret Dalziell, daughter of Lord 


6. Robert Ferg-usson, m. Katharine Cunningham, daughter 

of the Earl of Glencairn. 

7. William Fergusson, m. Sara, daughter of Sir William 

Grierson of Lag, 1621. 

8. Robert Fergusson, m. First, daughter of Lord Douglas 

of Morton. 

Secondly, Elizabeth Grier, Lady Tinwald, his cousin, 
being a daughter of Grierson of Lag. 

Thirdly, Margaret Chalmers, widow of David Craw- 
ford of Cars. 

Fourthly, to Douglas, Lady Craig. 

9. John Fergusson, m. Ehzabeth, daughter of John 

Makghie of Balmaghie. 


10. Alexander Fergusson, m. (1709) Annie Laurie, daughter 

of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwelton. 

11. James Fergusson, m. First (1743), Euphemia, daughter 

of Sir John Nisbet, Bart, of Dean and Dirleton. 

Secondly, Eleanora, daughter of the Honourable 
George Dalrymple of Dalmahoy (after- 
wards Lord Stair). 

12. Alexander Fergusson, m. Deborah, daughter of Robert 

Cutlar of Orroland. 

13. Robert Cutlar Fergusson, m. Josephine, daughter of 

General Auger. 

14. Robert Cutlar Fergusson, m. Ella, only daughter of Sir 

Archibald Alison, Bart. 

15. Robert Cutlar Fergusson, m. (1889) Rose, daughter of 

J. Grant Hodgson of Cabalva, Herefordshire. 


Among the Craigdarroch papers are the marriage-contract 
and the will of ' Annie Laurie ' ; an order by ' Richard, Lord 
Protector,' for the payment of the rents and arrears of the 
Chapel Royal to David Drummond ; and the folloAving inter- 
esting letters relating to the risings of 1715 and 1745. In 
the latter year James Fergusson, yr. of Craigdarroch, was 
acting as Commissioner for the Duke of Queensberry. He 
retained copies of his letters, and the extracts given are there- 
fore from his own letter-book. This Laird also kept a large 
book of detailed accounts connected with his own estate, to 
which he prefixed a note of his family, and a quaint and 
characteristic statement which gives interesting indications 
of the antiquity of his house, and the character of himself and 
his forebears. 

Rising of 1715. 

Copy of a letter from the Duke of Ar gyle, dated Ibth Septemler 1715, 
and of a writing indorsed on the hack of said copy. 

Edenbrugh, 15^^ September 1715. 
Gentlemen, — Finding the Lord Luetennant of your County is 
not yet come down, nor has appointed Deputy Luetennants to settle 
matters as his majesties service requires, and being informed since 


my arrival here that the brugh of Drumfries had a considerable 
number of well-armed men redy to serve his majesty, to whom 
they have shewed themselvs so well affected, I must loose no time 
in praying you would forthwith send what number of men you can 
gett together to Stirling, with such officers as you shall think fitt to 
intrust the command of them to. This will be of infinite service to 
His Majesty and the country, and will not faill of being acknow- 
ledged as such. 

I most farther inform you that by all the accounts I received 
from different parts of the kingdom, the disaffected Highlanders are 
actualy gathering together, so that it will be highly for his 
majesties service that all well-affected men that are armed about 
your country should hold themselves in a rediness to march, and 
even begin to assemble. The reason I am obliged to call you out 
first is that I judge the Burroughs to be the rediest, the country 
people being at present so much taken up with the harvest. I 
desire you would send with your armed men what ammunition you 
can. I have sent the like request to the rest of the well-affected 
Burroughs. — I am. Gentlemen, your most faithfull and obedient 
servant, * Argyle.' 

Upon a Counsel of well-affected gentlemen in the Southern and 
AVestern parts of Scotland, a meeting was kept at Dalmelinton, 
March 18, 1714, when were present — Baillie Miller, from Glasgow; 
Baillie , from Jeburg ; Sr Wm. Cuningham of Cuningham- 

head ; Porterfield of Duchell ; L.-Col. Wm. Maxwell of Cardoness ; 
Alexr. Fergusson of Craigdarroch ; Thomas Gordon of Earlston ; 
Capt. John Campbell in Paisley (1) ; J. Ma^kadadam of Water- 
head ; with someoyr to ye number of 12 or fourteen. 

ElSING OF 1745. 

Letters of James Fergusson to the Duke of Queensberry. 


Sept. 2nd, 1745. 

My Lord, — The Invasion in the North of Scotland, which has 
been for some weeks talked of as a matter of little consequence, 
seems now more serious. We have many uncertain Reports every 
day, but by the best accounts its now past doubt that the young 
Adventurer landed near Fort- William several weeks ago ; that a 
good many of the Highlanders have joined him. Their numbers 
are yet uncertain. Some say 2000, others 3000 ; that General Cope, 


with twixt 2000 and 3000 regular troops, is gone in quest of them, 
and was on Tuesday the 27th August within two days' march of 
them ; and that they are much alarmed at Edinburgh and Glasgow, 
and are putting themselves as fast as possible in a posture of defence. 
These Accounts we had here on Saturday last, and may be depended 
on as true. This day we were informed by letters from Edinburgh 
that General Cope had gone towards Inverness, and that the High- 
landers had taken a nearer way over the mountains and come 
further South ; that the Marquis of Tullibordine had come with a 
part of them as far as his Brother the Duke of Athole's house, and 
had sent orders before him to the Duke's Factor to prepare dinner 
for him and his Attendants. Upon which the Duke came off for 
Edinburgh ; and that the Inhabitants of Perth were greatly alarmed 
and were removing all their valuable Effects. These Accounts came 
by Express to Edinl^urgh on Saturday. That night Hamilton's 
Regiment of Dragoons lay upon their arms in the King's Park, and 
were to march early on Tuesday morning for Stirling, where Regi- 
ment now is. There was this day a meeting of the Justices of the 
Peace and Commissioners of Supply here, occasioned by a pressing 
letter from the General Receiver of the Land Tax at Edinburgh 
demanding payment of the arrears of this Shire without delay. 
After having settled that matter, the Gentlemen turned their con- 
versation upon the present situation of the Kingdom and the 
defenceless state of this Shire in particular, and agreed to write to 
the Justice Clerk the good inclinations of the people and their 
desire to have arms put in their hands out of the public Magazines, 
as there were few in the County, and to ask his advice how to 
behave in the present emergency, whether to rise or wait orders 
for raising the Militia. A letter to that purpose was sent by express 
this evening to Edinburgh, and in the meantime it was agreed to 
make an enquiry without delay what arms are in the Shire. I 
thought it my duty to give your Grace the above information. I 
go to Drumlanrig to-morrow, and as the post does not go from this 
till Wednesday, I have left this with Commissary Goldie, that if 
anything further occur twixt and then, he may add it. 


Deer. 18th, 1745. 

My Lord, — Upon Monday last there was a meeting at Dumfries 
of the Gentlemen and Clergy, when we received intelligence that 
the Duke of Cumberland had come up with y® Rebels near Lan- 
caster ; y* his vanguard had beat a Party of y™ and driven y^ into 


y* town, where he had y® main body enclosed ; y* the Duke of Perth, 
with 110 horse, among y™ y® Pretender's son and a good many of 
y^ Chiefs were said to be, had got away and were come upon Satur- 
day night last to Shap ; y* an express was come to Penrith on 
Sunday morning from the Duke desiring the country might rise 
and take care of y® stragglers, and that he would take care of 
y® main Body. This Account, y* was confirmed by several 
letters, determined y® meeting to agree to raise a considerable 
body of the best men in this Shire and the neighbouring parishes 
of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, to secure all the passes in the 
County. The Presbytery of Penpont are to meet at Thornhill to- 
morrow, when I intend to make up a Company of at least 100 men 
out of your Grace's Tenants in y^ Parishes of Kirkconnel, Sanquhar, 
Durisdeer, and Morton ; these, I believe, will be sufficient at pre- 
sent, and are as many as I can get any way armed. 

A subscription was set on foot last week by some people at Dum- 
fries for raising a sum of money to levy men for six months for 
recruiting y® Eegiment now in Scotland at y® expense of £4 bounty 
money to each man. It was proposed to me to write to your Grace 
concerning it. I declined y* till y^ scheme should be approved 
by a public meeting of y^ Gentlemen, and indeed I thought alto- 
gether unnecessary to give you the trouble of a letter concerning it, 
as the time fixed by y^ proclamation, vizt. to the 25th inst., for 
enlisting men to be discharged at the end of six months, must be 
elapsed before any return from your Grace could be expected. I 
own I also disapproved the Scheme — Fird^ Because I saw no pro- 
bability of getting even y® small number which were proposed, 
being 120 men, to enlist in a place so thinly inhabited, and where 
there are so few manufactures as in this County ; 2°^'^, because 
I thought it would take to enlist even y* number a sum y* in y® 
present scarcity of money could not well be spared here in case y® 
militia should be ordered to rise ; and 3^^'^, because I thought y® 
service yrby done to His Majesty would be very inconsiderable in 
comparison of the expense, and it would weaken our hands much in 
case of any such emergency as y® present. I found, however, on 
Monday last, when I was at Dufs., y^ some Gentlemen who were 
extremely kean upon this project had procured a good many sub- 
scriptions and listed about half a score of men, and wrote to y"" 
Grace concerning it without waiting for y® meeting of y® Gentle- 
men and Clergy y^ was appointed to be on Monday last. 

To explain this conduct to your Grace, I must inform you y** 



when y® Rebels past y^ Forth y® Gentlemen of y® shire had ap- 
pointed a Committee of a few of y^ number about Dumfries to pro- 
cure intelligence and call yem together by Circular letter upon any 
emergency. Y® Clergy also appointed a Committee of y^ number 
to take such measures as was thought proper, and call y^ together 
if necessary. A very few of yese two Committees took it in their 
heads without calling any meeting to contrive y* a letter should be 
wrote to the Lord^ Justice Clerk, which was accordingly done, and 
subscribed by a few of y® Gentlemen, setting forth y® zeal of y^ 
Country, and y* if orders were given for y* purpose a great many 
men would enlist in terms of y^ proclamation allowing £4 bounty 
money to each man who would enlist, to be discharged at y^ end 
of 6 months, or when y® rebellion should end. Unluckily they 
blundered in this by confounding two proclamations together, vizt., 
one offering £4 bounty money to men of a certain age who would 
enlist in the Guards, and another offering freedom at y^ end of six 
months, or when y^ rebellion should end, to any who would enlist, 
but y^^ mentions no bounty. The Justice Clerk in his Return to 
them commended y^ zeal, but pointed out the blunder, upon y^^, y'" 
y® scheme might not altogether be abortive y^^ they had thus taken 
upon y™ to contrive, they set y^ above project on foot. 

As I found they had wrote y^ Grace, but did not know in what 
terms, I thought it my duty to take y^ first opportunity to give 
you y^ real and true history of y® matter. 

At the meeting on Monday, when the above news came and y^ 
project of raising y^ Country was agreed upon, it was likewise y* 
part of the money subscribed should be applied to buy ammunition 
and pay such men as could not afford to come out on y^ own 
charge, as I believe we are all truly zealous to serve His Majesty 
K. George. I thought it would be very imprudent to say or do 
anything which might tend to disunite us at this time, so I joined 
in the subscription with others, tho y^ first project of enlisting was 
not quite conjusive (sic), in case more money could be got than to 
a,nswer y® present exigency. My present view, and which I flatter 
myself your Grace will approve of, is to have nothing to do with 
that money in paying y® above number of men y^^ I propose to 
raise. Upon y* emergency, I expect a good many will come out 
on their own charge, and to y*' rest I propose to give 8d. per day, 
ych ^yjji amount to no great sum, as I don't suppose we can be long 
together, nor would it indeed be proper we should, as we have no 
person of authority to conduct us. — I Rem., etc. 



2Sth December 1745. 
My Lord, — Since I wrote your Grace the 18th of this, the face of 
affairs is much changed here. Upon Friday the 20th the Highland 
Army crossed Esk, and part of them came that night within 8 miles 
of Dumfries. The 21st the greatest part of them came to Dumfries, 
the rest having gone to Moffat, and a few came that night within 
8 miles of this. The 22nd a few came to Thornhill, but most 
of them remained in Dumfries. The 23rd they came all here and 
to the adjacent villages. The 24th they left this and went to 
Douglas ; only some part of them lodged that night in Lead Hills 
and Wanlockhead and some near Sanquhar. The 25th 40 of them 
entered Glasgow and demanded quarter for their whole Army in 
the kirks, meeting houses, and other publick buildings, and said 
they would not go into private houses. I have yet heard nothing 
further of their route. At Dumfries they behaved very rudely, 
strip'd everybody almost of their shoes, obliged the town to give 
them .£1000 and a considerable quantity of shoes, and carried away 
Provost Crosbie and Mr. Walter Hiddell, Merchants, as hostages for 
.£1000 more, which was yesterday sent them to relieve these gentle- 
men. I was at Thornhill the 21st, in the morning (when I heard of 
their approach), ^vith a Company of 100 men, which I mentioned 
in my last, and about 50 Seceders. I retired here and keep'^ them 
together till the evening, when I had certain advice the greater part 
of the Highland Army was in Dumfries, and that everybody had 
laid down their arms ; upon which I dismised the people and 
desired them to secure their arms and horses. The 22nd, in the 
morning, I left this with all my family, except 9 servants, by day- 
break, and went to my Father's house at Craigdarroch. The 23rd, 
about seven in the morning, two letters from Murray, their Secre- 
tary, and another from one Eiddell, a Fife gentleman and an 
acquaintance of mine, who is with them, were brought here, and 
sent from this by express to Craigdarroch, where they found me 
about ten. The contents were telling me their Prince was to lodge 
here that night, and requiring me to provide quarters for their 
whole Army in this house and the adjacent village. They neither 
mentioned their numbers nor directed me what quantity was to be 
got, but only desired I would kill a great number of black cattel 
and sheep, and provide a great quantity of meal. I retired imme- 
diately into the Galloway hills about 8 miles further, without giving 
them any answer, and carried the person who brought me the letters 


with me. When they came here they laid straw in the whole rooms 
for the private men to lye on, except your Grace's bedchamber 
(where their Prince lay) and a few rooms more. They killed about 
40 sheep, part of your Grace's and part of mine, most of them in 
the vestibule next the Low dining room and the foot of the prin- 
cipal stair, which they left in a sad pickle, as they did indeed the 
whole house. Under the gallery they keeped several of their horses, 
which they made a shift to get up the front stair. They have 
destroyed all the spirits and most of the wine in your Grace's 
Cellars, of both which there was a considerable stock and very 
good, which has been laid in gradually since I came here ; a good 
deal of hay and what corn they could get, ale and spirits, and other 
provisions. They have broken several chairs and tables, melted 
down a good deal of pewter by setting it upon the fire with their 
victuals, carried away a good deal of linen and several other things 
which I have not yet time to know particularly. I returned the 
25th, about eleven at night, and found most of the house worse 
than I could possibly imagine before I saw it. I got as much time 
on the 21st as to secure all papers in my custody, and the best of 
the bed and table linen, and some other things of value which 
escaped undiscovered. I directed the servants to conceal as much 
wine as possible upon the 22nd after I went off, which they 
managed so v/ell as to save, I think, above two hogsheads. The 
Charter Room was not broken open, the servants having assured 
them the key was not in my custody, and that nothing was in 
it except papers ; but not having patience till the servants brought 
the keys of every other place, they broke up many of the doors. 
They would have done much more mischief, as the servants tell me, 
at least plundered the whole house, had not the Duke of Perth 
stayed till most of them were gone. He took sheets and blankets 
from several who were carrjdng them off and returned them to the 
servants, and Mr. Riddell, above mentioned, directed the servants 
to go through the house all night to prevent fire. Several of them 
said to the servants, if they had got me here I should have paid 
.£1000 before I had been released; the others pretended they would 
have given me no trouble. However, as I was declared a Traitor 
by their Proclamation requiring all Sheriffs, etc., to attend them 
and put their Accounts for money in, I have thought best all along 
to keep out of y'^ hands. May God grant there may never again 
be any such guests here. By the nearest computation I can make, 
at least 2000 were lodged in this house and stables. Drink money, 


10 guineas (?). Upon the 25th, in the evening, before I came here, 
upon hearing His Royal Highness the D. of C"^ was come to 
Carlisle, I wrote him in case he intended to march any part of 
his army this way. I waited his commands to do all the service in 
my power for forAvarding it. This, I told H.R.H., I looked upon 
to be my duty as a faithful subject to His Majesty King George, 
and as knowing it would be perfectly agreeable to your Grace, the 
care of whose affairs I had in this place. Upon the 26th 8 men 
and 5 women who had stragled from the rear of the Highland 
Army were brought here prisoners. The afternoon before they 
were plundering near Durisdeer, and were attacked by 14 country 
people, 7 of whom only were armed ; they fired upon the people, 
but did no execution, upon which those who had guns returned 
their fire and wounded most of the Highlanders, and before they 
had time to draw their swords ran upon them and knocked them 
down. I have sent a party of the people who seized them to 
H.R.H. along with them. They lye this night at Thornhill, and 
go on to-morrow. I have not yet heard of the armys being come 
further than Carlisle. By the best accounts I can have, about 
500 men are left in that Garrison. I have sent this by Dumfries, 
as I see no danger now of letters being intercepted while H.R.H.'s 
Army is about Carlisle. The Highlanders paid for scarce any- 
thing in this country ; they eat up poor Howit and Bow House, 
and paid nothing. 

With the greatest regard and esteem, I am. 


January 7th, 1745. 
My Lord, — I wrote your Grace the 28th December an account 
of the behaviour of the Highlanders here. I observe, since, they 
have quite defaced several of the pictures in the gallery by throwing 
a liquid of some kind or other upon them. I mentioned in my 
last that I had wrote the 25th Decbr. to His Royal Highness the 
Duke of Cumberland, offering to do everything in my power for 
forwarding his Army should it come this way, and that I waited 
his orders. I sent him inclosed the two letters I got from the 
Highlanders requiring me to provide quarters for them here. Mr. 
William Kirkpatrick, Sir Thomas' Brother, and my Father, who 
were then with me at Craigdarroch, wrote another letter to the 
same purpose to His Royal Highness. We sent them by Mr. 
William Moody, Minister of Glencairn. He was very civilly 


received by Lord Cathcart, Aid de Camp to His Royal Highness, 
who told him our letters were very acceptable, and that he would 
be glad to have seen ourselves. Upon hearing this we thought it 
our duty to wait upon the Duke, and accordingly Mr. Kirkpatrick 
and I went to Carlisle the 1st of this. It was late before we got 
there, and as His Royal Highness was to set out for London next 
morning by three, we could not see him. He sent his thanks to 
us by Lord Cathcart, who used us with great civility, and told us 
it was resolved none of the troops were to come this way, but y*^ 
our letters were sent to General Hawley in case he should have 
use for them while in Scotland. Having heard that several of the 
Gentlemen who had gone to Carlisle from this Shire and the 
Stewartry of Kirkcudbright had waited on General Inglethorpe, 
and assured him of the good affections of the Country to His 
Majesty's Government, and that everybody would be ready to 
take arms on whatever shape they should be desired, and hearing 
among other things the raising of a Regiment, for six months or 
till y® Rebellion should be over, of the Gentlemen and people in 
this Country had been talked of, we took occasion upon the 2nd 
to wait on the General with Mr. Heron, late Member for the 
Stewartry, who joined with us in confirming what had been said 
by others with regard to the affections of the County, but took 
the liberty to assure him that any scheme of putting this Country 
in arms would be abortive unless some person of authority to 
whose directions people of all ranks would cheerfully submit, and 
in whom they would confide, was proposed to put it in execution, 
and that none would be so agreeable as your Grace to both 
these Countys, that under your authority we doubted not but 
they would make as good a figure, but that it was only deceiving 
the Government to raise their expectations concerning these 
Countys in any other view, as most other persons concerned in 
them upon whose affections to the Government the people should 
depend were so much upon a level that it could not be expected 
any one would have authority enough to direct them so that any 
scheme which they might attempt must necessarily run into con- 
fusion by various and contradictory opinions. The General treated 
us very civilly, and seemed to take what was said extremely well. 
For my own part, by the few months experience I have had of the 
present confusion, I am so sensible of the truth of the above 
observation that except under your Grace's direction I am resolved 
to have no further concern in raising the people in arms unless the 


Militia are called out in a legal manner, and I can assure your 
Grace several of the Gentlemen here in whose power it is to do 
most service in that way, have the same intention. Many people 
who make a bustle and noise about their good affections to the 
Government have evidently their own private interests so much in 
view, and are so intent upon having the merit of anything that is 
done for its service in the Country where they live, that there 's 
no end of proposals, many of which are Idle and no chance of any 
being right executed otherwise than in the way I have mentioned. 
Such, I can venture to affirm, is the present situation of the 
County, and I think it my duty to write plainly to your Grace in 
this and every thing in which you are so much concerned. May 
God long preserve you and give you the Eeturn of Many Happy 
years, and put it in your power to be an instrument of delivering 
your Country from the present dismal situation in which it is. 
People of all Ranks here have shown so much their zeal to serve 
His Majesty King George, that if the Rebels return this way I 
fear what we have already suffered will appear a trifle in com- 
parison of what we must yet expect. 

About 400 private men and 40 officers were made Prisoners at 
Carlisle. Seven were hanged on the 2nd, and five some days 
before, of those who had been with General Cope, and had listed 
with the Rebels. None of the Officers taken were people of any 

Communication addressed to the Duke of Cumberland by James Fergusson, 

May it please your Royal Highness, — Being informed just now 
of your Royal Highness' approach towards this Country, in pursuit 
of the Rebels who were at His Grace the Duke of Queensberry's 
house at Drumlanrig Thursday's night last and left it yesterday 
morning at 10 o'clock, intending, so far as I can learn, to be at 
Douglas that night. In point of duty as a faithful subject to His 
Majesty King George, and as knowing it to be perfectly agreeable 
to His Grace the Duke of Queensberry, the care of whose affairs 
I have in this place, I have presumed to send this by Mr. William 
Moody of Glencairn, to let your Royal Highness know that if any 
part of your army is to move this way, by Drumlanrig, I only 
wait your orders to contribute everything in my power which this 
Country can afford for forwarding your Army, which shall be 
cheerfully and readily obeyed In whatever your Royal Highness 


shall direct by,— Your Eoyal Highness' most faithful and most 
obedient Humble Serv*-. 

Upon the Eebel Army's approach towards Drumlanrig I left it 
open the day, monday morning. I received y« now inclosed letters 
which, according to my duty, I send your Eoyal Highness. They 
were left Monday morning at Drumlanrig, and brought to me that 
day at 10 o'clock by a servant from there, whom I keeped with me 
till I heard the Eebels were gone. 

May it Please Your Eoyal Highness,— We beg leave to con- 
gratulate Your Eoyal Highness upon your safe arrival with your 
Army to this Country, and at the same time presume to assure 
you that nothing shall be wanting on our part to contribute to- 
wards the easy march of your troops through this Country, and 
that we will most cheerfully, and with all expedition that is 
possible, obey what orders you are pleased to send for that 
purpose. — Being with the greatest Eespect. 

Note of Births, etc., iJvefixed to Booh of Accompts, etc., ke;pt hij James 
Fergusson of Craigdarroch. 

James Fergusson of Craigdarroch was born the tenth day of 
January One thousand seven hundred and thirteen. Was married 
upon the Seventeenth day of January jm vii c and forty-three, at 
the House of Dean, to Euphemia Nisbet, Daughter to S^ John 
Nisbet of Dean, Barronet. 

By her he had one son, born the sixth day of September jm vii c 
and forty-six at Drumlanrig, and named Alexander after his 

And upon the thirteenth day of the same month, that best of 
women departed this life jm vii c. 

He was again married upon the eighth day of January jm vii c 
and fifty-one, to Elenora Dairy mple, Daughter to The Honourable 
George Dalrymple of Dama Hoy, one of the Barons of His Majesty's 
Exchequer in Scotland, in her mother's house in Edinburgh. 

By her he had a son named George, after her father, who was 
born at Dumfries the first day of June jm vii c and fifty-two, and 
died at Drumlanrig the sixteenth day of July that year. 

By her he had another son, named Charles, after His Grace The 
Duke of Queensberry, who was born at Dumfries The Twenty- 
eight day of August jm vii c and Fifty-three, and died at Drum- 
lanrig the Twenty-ninth day of March jm vii c and Fifty-four. 


By her he had another son, named John, after Capt. Dalrymple 
of Stairs, her brother, who was born at Drumlanrig the Sixteenth 
day of February jm vii c and Fifty-five. 

By her he had a daughter, named Euphemia, after her mother 
Mrs. Dalrymple, who was born at Drumlanrig the Fourteenth day 
of January jm vii c and Fifty-seven. 

By her he had another daughter, named Ann, after his mother, 
who was born at Drumlanrig the twenty- third day of October 
m vii c and Fifty-nine. 

By her he had another son, named Robert, after his Great 
Grandfather, his brother, and Robert Riddell of Glen Riddell, his 
brother in Law, who was born at Craigdarroch the thirty-first day 
of July m vii c and Sixty-two. 

By her he had another daughter, named Elizabeth^ after her 
sister Mrs. Bland, widow of Lieutennant General Bland, who was 
born at Craigdarroch the Twelfth day of April m vii c and Sixty- 

By her he had another daughter, named Margaret, after her 
sister Miss Dalrymple, who was born at Craigdarroch the Twentj^- 
seventh day of February m vii c and Sixty-eight. 

By her he had another daughter, named Jean, after his sister 
Mrs. Riddell of Glen Riddell, who was born at Craigdarroch July 
twenty-eighth, m vii c and Seventy-one. 

His son Alexander was married August 1769 to Deborah Cutler, 
Daughter of Robert Cutler, Merchant in Dumfries, by whom he 
had a son, named James, after his Grandfather. Born July 6th, 
1770, at Edinburgh. 

James Fergusson of Craigdarroch died at Stenhouse of a pleuratick 
Fever upon the 19th of December 1771. 

Excerpt from Book of Accompts and States as to Craigdarroch kept by 
Ja. Fergusson, beginning ^st December 1749. 

The Estate of Craigdarroch in my possession, at least the 
greatest part thereof, has been possessed by my Ancestors in a 
Succession, for the most part Lineal, from father to son, upwards 
of Two hundred and sixty-five years, as appears by a connected 
progress of Charters and Sasines, from the last of April 1484, when 
John Fergusson was infeft in the Lands of Craigdarroch, etc., as 
heir to Matthew Fergusson of Craigdarroch, his father, to this 
day : And tho the connected progress from heir to heir does not 
appear further back, yet there are in my custody documents of a 


very old date which show the lands of Craigdarroch were possessed 
by Fergussons (and who were then people of some Rank) above 
Three hundred and fifty years ago, particularly a Charter in the 
year 1398 of the lands of Jardbrugh, granted by Crawford of 
Dalgarno to Jankine Fergusson, who is therein called Lord of 

From what appears from the papers of the family, from the 
Tradition of the Country, and from the common observation that 
riches dishonestly acquired soon take wings and fly away, it would 
seem that the estate has been honestly acquired. The proprietors 
of it have been always esteemed lovers of God and of their 
country, and men of honour, probity, and personal courage. 

When I mention these things, I mean them not as boasting 
and vanity, but as incitements to myself and posterity to trede in 
the paths of our Ancestors, to use our honest endeavours, by the 
blessing of God, to preserve this estate in our family, and to pray 
that the Supream Being may enable us to love and fear Him and 
serve our country to latest generations with contented and thank- 
ful hearts for the Station in which He has placed us in this world, 
and for preserving our Estate for so long a tract of time. 

This Estate was brought under considerable debts in the times 
of confusion and trouble in the days of Robert Fergusson, my 
Great Grandfather, and John Fergusson, my Grandfather, who 
was killed in the year 1689 at the Battle of Killycranky, where 
he served as a Lieut. Colonel in King William's Army, and left 
Alexander Fergusson, my father, an infant. During his minority 
the Estate was ill managed and the affairs of the family neglected, 
so that the debts were increased and the Estate put into his 
possession, when he became of Age, under very great burdens. 
Providence never threw any opportunity in his way to lessen 
these ; but though he served in the British Parliament as a member 
of the House of Commons during the first parliament of King 
George the first, and always maintained the honour and credit of 
his family, he has not greatly increased the family debts, when it 's 
considered that he made many considerable and expensive im- 
provements on the Estate, particularly upon the lands of Craig- 
darroch and those therewith inclosed, purchas'd the lands of 
Terrarran, and built a handsome house. His strict honour and 
probity gained and preserved his money credit, so that tho he got 
the Estate and left it under great burdens, he never was oblidged 
to sell any part of it, but left it entire when he died, upon the 


eighth day of IMarch last, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, much 
regretted by his friends and Country. 

Notwithstanding my father's straitned circumstances, he was 
particularly careful to give me a liberal education, one of the 
chief dutj^s which parents owe to their children, and which he so 
faithfully discharged to me that so far as I did not profit thereby 
it was my own fault. I have been thereby, by the blessing of 
God, qualified for the business I have had for some time past, 
by which, God willing, I propose to maintain my family, and 
apply all the excrescent Rents of my Estate (after paying annual 
rents and publick burdens) to extinguish the debts thereon, which, 
at the same time, as they are very considerable in proportion 
to the Estate, cannot probably be greatly lessen'd thereby, during 
my life, unless God in His providence shall give me greater 
opportunity to extinguish them. 

My present situation (with which, I thank God, I am content) 
makes industry and frugality indispensably necessary. So far as 
these will go, I think it my duty and honour to endeavour to 
preserve and relieve my Estate and transmit it entire, if God will, 
to my posterity. But mean and sordid avarice, and all dishonest 
and dishonourable ways to acquire riches I hate from my heart. 
I pray God I may ever do so — may continue to be content with 
my present condition (which is much better than I deserve) — and 
that whatever situation of life He in His providence shall place me 
in, I may be enabled to act such a part as my Duty to God and 
my Country requires. 

-X- -jt -x- * * 

I have written and subscribed this and the two preceding pages 
at Drumlangrig, where at present I reside, upon the first day of 
December One thousand seven hundred and fourty-nine years. 

' Ja. Fergusson.' 

It is interesting also to find among the Craigdarroch 
papers a letter from James Fergusson, afterwards Lord 
Kilkerran, dated from Kilkerran on 24th March 1729, 
and containing detailed advice as to the purchase of lands, 
addressed to Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch. He com- 
mences : ' Dear Sir, the Bearer has been detained for some 
days by my absence, having only returned on Saturday's 
night from my Lord Eglinton's burial, q" I found yours q^ he 
had left for me. I was pleased to find by it y* you are now 


building and purchasing land at the same time. I asked 
Will™ q* kind of mealins they are ; he told me they were two 
of y^ best grounds in Galloway, marching with your-self, 
c]^^ is no small encouragement to y^ purchase.' After dis- 
cussing the legal aspects of the matter in detail, he continues, 
' Were I to make the purchase myself, I 'd take y^ assistance 
of anoyr of my brethren, and I'd rather risque lessning 
your opinion of me y" offer you a positive advice q'' I was 
doubtful ' ; and concludes, ' You '11, from q* I 've said, observe 
how many different views cast up in this case, q^^ shew y® 
reason of a deliberate advice qh" ye are to enter upon this 
bargain. I have offered you qh* at present occurs to me, and 
shall always be fond of any oportunity of shewing myself, 
D. Sir, your affectionate well-wisher and obedient, humble 
servant, Ja. Fergusson. — All here join with me in our com- 
pliments to your Lady and daughter.' 

Among a large number of burgess tickets^ are the 
following : — 

Whithorn, 29th Dec. 1703, in favour of Alexander Fer- 
gusson of Craigdarroch. 

Edinburgh, 2nd March 1715, in favour of Alexander 
Fergusson of Craigdarroch. 

New Galloway, 10th Dec. 1823. Henry Fergusson. 
Kirkcudbright, 3rd July 1834. Robert Cutlar Fergusson 
of Craigdarroch. 

' The Fergussons of Craigdarroch,' wrote Captain Riddell of 
Glenriddell,^ ' are of very great antiquity : they are generally 
considered as chief of their name in Scotland, and trace their 
descent from Fergus, Regulus (Prince, or Lord) of Galloway.' 
Lord Alan of Galloway, a descendant and successor of Fergus, 
and Fergus of Glencairn, were both witnesses to the charter 
granted to the monks of Melrose in Alexander ii.'s reign. 

One of the stones of the house of Craigdarroch bears the 
date 1609, with the initials T. F. and J. M. Another stone 
bears the initials A. F. and A. L., recording the marriage of 

1 For a fuller list see Appendix-. 

2 Glenriddell ms., quoted in Dumfries Herald, 25tli May 1892. 

2 c 


Alexander Fergusson with ' Bonnie Annie Laurie.' On others 
are carved the arms and the motto, ' God send grace,' which 
invocation a lady of the house applied by giving the name 
Grace to her daughter. In the year 1508 John Fergusson of 
Craigdarroch and his son Thomas were engaged, with Lord 
Maxwell and Sir William Douglas, Baron of Drumlanrig, in 
an attack on Lord Sanquhar, Sheriff of Nithsdale, whom they 
drove from Dumfries. In this 'grate feicht,' as Sir James 
Balfour calls it, ' Lord Sanquhar was overthrown and many 
of his friends killed.' The victors were tried in Edinburgh, 
but acquitted. 

A Fergusson of Craigdarroch, at the head of a troop of horse 
of the gentlemen of Nithsdale, defeated a party of Cromwell's 
troops when the army of the Commonwealth invaded Scotland. 

A Laird of Craigdarroch was one of the Commissioners 
appointed, after the battle of Rullion Green, to inquire into 
the charges of malversation and oppression against Sir James 
Turner, then commander of the forces in Dumfries, and was 
a curator to Robert Grierson of Lag, whose name afterwards 
became so notorious. The next Laird, John Fergusson, is said 
to have been a devoted Covenanter. ' Tradition has preserved 
accounts of several narrow escapes which he made, parti- 
cularly his spirited leap over the flooded Cairn, at the spot 
since called Gaps Mill — a name associated by tradition with 
that incident — where the pursuing troopers dared not follow. 
He just lived to see the Orange dynasty enthroned : being 
slain at the battle of Killiecrankie.^ The saddle on which he 
rode to battle is one of the treasured heirlooms of the family, 
and a curious piece of workmanship it is, full of cunningly 
contrived pockets and receptacles for various articles required 
during the campaign. The Fergussons of Caitloch, a closely 

1 According to tradition the Laird of Craigdarroch lost his life owing to 
his servant making off with his horse, when the Lowland ranks broke before 
the fierce rush of Highlanders. It is said that when 
' Toom hame cam' the saddle 
But never cam' he,' 

the widow, with the hot spirit of her Pictish blood, turned on the unfortu- ■ 
nate groom and cursed him in the words : ' May you and yours never see a ■ 
horse again ' ; and that from that day to this total blindness, or serious defect 
of eyesight, has affected all his descendants. 


allied branch of the family, were also sufferers in the cause of 
religious liberty. Wodrow tells of the harsh usage of " Lady 
Kaitloch " and her children, who were allowed to retain posses- 
sion of their home for some time after the husband and father 
had been driven into exile and his estate declared forfeited, 
but who were afterwards (in 1683) evicted by the soldiery.' 
Alexander Fergusson, husband of Annie Laurie, maintained 
the loyalty of his house to the new dynasty, and raised a 


company for its support in 1715. In ' Major Fraser's Manu- 
script ' mention is made of him being at Dumfries in that 
year, and associated with Kirkpatrick of Closeburn and 
others in the defence of the toAvn. The will of his wife, the 
heroine of the song, is preserved at Craigdarroch. It is a 
brief holograph document, in which she constitutes her hus- 
band sole legatee, and in which her name is spelled ' Anna.' 


' The Whistle/ sung of by Burns, and won by their grandson, 
Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch, a distinguished lawyer, 
remains in the possession of the family. The most eminent 
of their descendants was Robert Cutlar Fergusson, one of the 
earliest advocates of Parliamentary Reform, who was tried in 
1798, along with the Earl of Thanet, on the charge of aiding 
one of the prisoners charged with sedition, and for whom he 
was counsel, to escape. He subsequently went to India, 
where he became Attorney- General ; and, after his return, sat 
as member for the stewartry of Kirkcudbright till his death, 
being successful in eight elections. He held the post of 
Judge-Advocate-General in Earl Grey's and Lord Mel- 
bourne's administrations, and was conspicuous for his advo- 
cacy in Parliament of the cause of Poland. In 1832 the Polish 
refugees struck a medal in his honour which ' bore upon one 
side Mr. Fergusson's profile in high relief— a noble face, strik- 
ingly expressive of decision and force of character — and on the 
other a Latin inscription, of which this is a strict translation : 
" To Robert Cutlar Fergusson, the pure and steadfast defender 
of the rights of man, Poland, beaten down by force, surviving 
her day of prosperity, has made this dedication." Around 
the portrait also is inscribed a Latin legend which may be 
thus rendered : " There shall not be wanting some to remem- 
ber me." It is curious to note that Lairds of Craigdarroch 
have sat in seven of the old Scottish Parliaments, and in 
exactly the same number of the Parliaments of the United 

'The larches on the Craigdarroch property,' writes the 
Rev. John Menteith, author of The Parish of Glencairn, ' are 
among the finest in the country. They were presented by 
King George ii. to a former proprietor of Craigdarroch on 
their first introduction to Scotland.' 

Glencairn, in which Craigdarroch is situated, is the scene 
of Dr. Walter Smith's ' Boreland Hall,' and it is to Craig- 
darroch that the following lines refer : — 

' Far at the end of tlie valley open three narrow glens, 
Each with its own marked features charactered clear as men's ; 
Each with its own fair water finding its fitting way, 
Rough o'er the rocky channel or still by the bonny brae, 


That to the left is rugged : one side a bare bleak hill, 

With a cataract, rugged, with stones down-rushing as if they would fill 

The glen with grey desolation ; and halfway down a thorn 

Seems as it stayed the torrent, and was bent with the weight and worn. 

' Only that thorn on the hillside grapples the stones with its root, 
Only some scraggy hazel-bushes straggle about its foot. 
Only the curlew wails there, and the grouse-cock crows at morn. 
Only the goat and the coney poise on those stony heaps, 
Only the parsley fern along their barren spaces creeps ; 
And far below in the hollow a stream goes plunging on 
From the rocky steep to the rocky pool, and the rumbling boulder-stone. 

' The middle glen is wooded : there the ancient lords of the land 
Leaving their high-pitched eyrie, built a stately house and grand, 
Right under the Murrough Crag, pine-clad up to the top. 
And they belted the woods all round them, and bade the highways stop. 
And they made them a goodly forest, stocked with the wild red-deer. 
And they drew the stream into fish-ponds, and swept with their nets the 

The wild deer bound in the woodlands now, but there is none to care 
And the trout are fat in the fish-ponds, and the water-lily is fair. 

' Fair is the glen to the right, in its pastoral beauty still, 
Green in its holms and hollows, green to the top of each hill ; 
A line of alder and drooping birch marks where its river flows. 
But in its bare upper reaches only the juniper grows. 
The stream comes out of a tarn on the hill whose oozy edge 
Is fringed with a ring of lilies and an outer ring of sedge ; 
And there is no road beyond that, only a mountain high. 
And a cairn of stone where the withered bones of the three brave brothers 

' The Fergussons of Craigdarroch,' says Nisbet, ' seem to be 
of very old standing in the parish of Glencairn and sheriff- 
dom of Dumfries, and that without claiming the antiquities 
of other families into which they are either thrown by acci- 
dent or purchase, and have been numerous in their descen- 
dants, several families deriving their originals from them ; 
and notwithstanding of the depredations from the Border to 
which that Place was frequently liable, and the burning of 
the house of Craigdarroch, I have seen some old remains of 
its antiquity : The first is a charter that is extant in the 
hands of the present Laird of Craigdarroch, which is 'granted 


by John of Crawford, sou to the Laird of Dalgernock, to 
John Fergusson, Doininus de Craigdarroch, his cousin, pro 
suo consilio et auxilio, of the mill of Daluiacallan and Jed- 
burgh, in the barony of Glencairn, in the shire of Dumfries ; 
which charter is without date, but the witnesses, who are all 
very well known, give us a very near vicAv of the time : the 
witnesses being thus inserted in the charter; Sir John 
Stewart, father. Laird of Dalswinton, Sir Walter Stewart, Sir 
John Stewart, Sir Alan Stewart, his sons. It is agreed by his- 
torians that this John Stewart of Dalswinton hved in the 
reign of David Bruce, and that he was taken prisoner with 
him at the battle of Durham in the year 1346, and that the 
foresaid Walter Stewart's only daughter and heir was in the 
year 1396 married to John Stewart, son of Sir Walter 
Stewart, sheriff of Tweeddale, descended of the house of 
Darnly. It is to be observed that this charter is backed by 
a hand above a hundred years old, and the figure 25 is 
marked upon it, which seems to infer that twenty-four pre- 
ceding papers have been lost. The next is a curious old 
charter in English, granted by John Crawford of Dalmacallan 
in Glencairn, to Jonkme Fergusson, Laird of Craigdarroch, 
confirming two other charters, viz., one granted by John 
Huchchanson of Crawfurd, cousin to the foresaid John Craw- 
furd, of the four merks worth of land of Jedburgh to the said 
Jonkine Fergusson, and another charter, granted by John 
Crawfurd, the foresaid John Crawfurd's son, to the said Jon- 
kine Fergusson of the mill of Jedburgh : which charter is 
backed by the foresaid old hand, and figured twenty-eight ; 
and in the 12th of January 1727 it has been in the hands of 
that great antiquary. Sir James Dalrymple of Killoch, and 
was registrated at that time as a probative writ. The next is 
a sasin under the hands of Thomas Lockhart, notar-public, 
for infefting John Fergusson of Craigdarroch as son and heir 
to Mathew Fergusson of Craigdarroch, dated the last day of 
April 1484. From Avhich John Fergusson of Craigdarroch I 
have seen a complete progress from father to son to the pre- 
sent Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch, who was married to 
Anne Laurie, daughter to Sir Robert Laurie of Maxwelton, 
and Jean lliddell his lady : with which Anne Laurie he has 


these children, James, Robert, and Jean Fergussons. The said 
Alexander was chosen member of Parliament in the year 
1717 : by the contracts of marriage it appears they have been 
honourably married to the families of Glencairn, Morton, Lag, 
Gadgirth, and Balmaghie, and that oftener than once.' 

Nisbet also notes : ' 1 am certainly informed that the same 
arms as in the Lyon Register, together with the arms of 
Katherine Cunningham, daughter to the Earl of Glencairn, 
are above the door of the old house of Craigdarroch.' ^ — 
(Nisbet's Heraldry, ii. Appendix, p. 91.) 

The Fergussons of Craigdarroch are, according to the author 
of Tlte Parish of Glencairn, ' the most ancient family in 
Glencairn whose representatives are still living. It is im- 
possible accurately to determine its antiquity. It was 
probably of Scoto-Irish extraction.' About the Restoration 
* the property possessed by the Fergussons appears to have 
comprised the whole lands between the Dalwhat and Castle- 
fairn waters, besides the lands of Jedburgh.' During the 
Civil War, ' when James, second Earl of Queensberry, was on 
his way to join Montrose after the battle of Kilsyth, Craig- 
darroch and the leading men of Glencairn intercepted and 
took him prisoner.' In 1715 the Duke of Argyll, Com- 
mander-in-Chief for King George, wrote to Fergusson of 
Craigdarroch, ' as the leading loyalist in Nithsdale,' a letter 
(of which the following is a part), dated Edinburgh, 16th 
September 1715 : — ' Your Lord-Lieutenant not yet being 
come down to give orders for drawing out such other of the 
well- affected people as should be thought necessary, and I 
being convinced of your zeal and good inclinations to serve 
our King and country, and looking upon you as my particular 
friend, I apply to you on this occasion, and desire you would 
forthwith come to Stirling with what number of well-armed 
men you can get together to join the King's regular forces. 
This will be of infinite service to his Majesty, and will not 
fail to be acknowledged as such.' M'Dowall, in his History 
of Dumfries, adds : — ' If Argyle had suspected the existence 
of serious danger in the south, he would not have summoned 

1 Nisbet was correctly informed. The arms referred to are now (1895) on 
the wall of Craigdarroch House. 


Mr. Fergusson to Stirling ; and that gentleman not thinking 
that his services would soon be pressingly required at home, 
proceeded to Keir Moss, Penpont, with about sixty well- 
armed recruits raised in the parishes of Glencairn and Tyn- 
ron. . . . After patriotic addresses from Mr. Fergusson and 
Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, many more volunteers were obtained 
for the King's Army. . . . The company he brought to 
Stirhng proved a valuable acquisition to Argyle ; but hearing 
soon afterwards of the Jacobite movement in Dumfriesshire, 
Mr. Fergusson, at the Duke's instance, retraced his steps that 
he might defend the King's interests in his native county.' 

' There are many traditions,' writes Menteith, ' connected 
with this family. It is said that the Jonkyne Fergusson 
alluded to in the first charter lived at Jerbruck, and had 
twelve sons. They were freebooters, whose principles were 
summarily comprehended in the well-known lines : — 

" That they should take who have the power, 
And they should keep who can." 

On one occasion, when practising archery on the Moat of 
Ingles ton, with which there was said to have been under- 
ground communication from Jerbruck, they were surprised, 
and, with one exception, taken prisoners. They were sent to 
various parts of the country. One of them was sent to the 
water of Girvan, where he became the ancestor of the Fergus- 
sons of Kilkerran. Another was sent to Dalswinton. This 
Fergusson while there, having risen early one morning, 
observed that the river was flooding the country. He ran 
and told his master, Comyng of Dalswinton, who said to 
him that the part which was surrounded with water should 
be given him. Hence the " Fergussons of the Isle." Another 
Avas sent to the west of Scotland, and became the ancestor 
of the Fergussons of Beith.' 

There are several traditions relating to the Covenanting 
times. * It is said that several attempts were made to seize 
the Laird, who favoured the Covenanters. On one occasion, 
as he was quietly riding along the road to Moniaive, near 
Gapps Mill, a body of troopers made their appearance at the 
bend of the Cairn below the present Crawfordton House. At 


the place where they met there was an opening in the wall, 
and the commander of the troopers having recognised the 
Laird, cried, " Guard the gap." " I '11 guard the gap," replied 
the dauntless Laird; and, turning his horse's head, dashed 
through it, followed by his enemies. The river Cairn, which 
at the time was swollen with rain, intercepted his progress ; 
but the Laird, giving his good steed the spur, cleared the 
water with a bound, and landed safely on the opposite bank. 
This tradition is, however, not agreeable to other narratives 
apparently more authentic. Again, it was at Craigdarroch 
House that John Stevenson, the Ayrshire Covenanter, was 
hidden. His wife, who was nurse to Craigdarroch's child, 
was greatly esteemed by her mistress, and for her sake her 
husband was admitted into a private apartment of the house. 
There is a story told by Simpson which has a stronger 
appearance of probability than the tradition just mentioned. 
It relates to the capture of a party of Covenanters at Fergus- 
son's of Caitloch. The dragoons seized a number of persons 
at Caitloch, among whom was Alexander Ferguson of 
Threeriggs. This little band of captives was conducted to 
Moniaive to undergo an examination before the authorities. 
Ferguson had in his pocket a number of musket-balls, which 
he scattered unnoticed among the thick grass, that he might 
divest himself of anything suspicious. It happened that the 
Laird of Craigdarroch was among the examinators when the 
prisoners were introduced, and, seeing the son of his friend 
of Threeriggs among the rebels, was greatly distressed. He 
was fully aware that the slightest evidence of his being a 
Covenanter would ensure the ruin of the fine young man 
who stood before him, and perhaps the ruin of the whole 
family. Craigdarroch did not seem to recognise him as a 
kinsman, nor did Ferguson take any notice of the Laird. 
They knew that anything like a mutual recognition would be 
received in an unfavourable light. Meanwhile, Craigdarroch 
was devising means for the rescue of his friend. He was 
sitting apparently at his ease and casting a careless look at 
the prisoners, when suddenly, as if surprised, he raised his 
voice in a loud and indignant tone, and addressing Ferguson 
as if he had been his shepherd, exclaimed, " Sandy, what 


business have you here ? How came you to leave the sheep 
on my hill without my permission ? Begone, sir, instantly, 
and attend more carefully to your Hock." Ferguson took the 
hint and stole aAvay, as if ashamed, without any interruption. 
Some time after this Craigdarroch met him, and, congratu- 
lating him on his escape, said, " I am as warmly attached to 
the cause as you are, for it is the cause of liberty and religion. 
I have been successful in effecting your escape this time, but 
should you happen to be taken again it will not be in my 
power to save you. Therefore, my young friend, look to 
yourself." The caution, however, was of no avail. The 
Fergusons of Threeriggs espoused the Covenanting cause. 
They were declared rebels, and their estate was given to their 
neighbour, the Laird of Glencresh. 

' The Fergussons sustained very heavy losses through the 
failure of Douglas Heron and Co.'s Bank in 1772. They were 
among the largest shareholders of that ruinous concern, 
having £1500 worth of shares — a large sum in those days. 
In order to meet the calls that were made upon him, the 
proprietor of Craigdarroch had to part with large portions of 
his estate. Much has since been bought back, but the Craig- 
darroch property is not now half the size it once was. 

' On one occasion Lord Brougham was paying a visit to 
Fergusson of Craigdarroch. During his visit a public dinner 
took place at the inn at Moniaive. After dinner, Brougham 
took out a cigar which he was about to light, when one 
of the company objected to his smoking at the table. 
Brougham persisted. Thereupon the objector seized a wine- 
glass, and shied it at Brougham's head. Brougham sent 
another back. Then followed a decanter from each com- 
batant; and in a short time the table might have been 
cleared of every available missile, had not one of the company, 
a tall and powerful man, at this stage of the conflict risen 
from his seat, went up to Brougham, lifted him as if he had 
been a child, carried him downstairs out of the house, and 
deposited him safely in the courtyard.' 

' The Fergussons,' says M'Dowall, in his History of Dum- 
fries, * another Celtic family, existed very early in Dumfries- 
shire; but whether they belonged to a sept of that name 


which had its chief seat to the north of Duiikeld, or were 
descended from some earlier settlers in the south, is not known. 
Early in the fourteenth century John of Crauford, son of the 
Laird of Dalgarnock, granted a charter of lands in the parish 
of Glencairn to his cousin, John Fergusson, " Dominus de 
Craigdarroch," and it is believed that the estate so called — 
which is owned by them till this day — had been at that 
date in their possession for several generations. Not a few 
members of the Craigdarroch family acquired distinction as 
soldiers and lawyers ; one of them in recent times figured as 
the hero of Burns's ballad, " The Whistle," on gaining which 
trophy he was thus addressed by the bard : — 

" Thy line, that have struggled for freedom with Bruce, 
Shall heroes and patriots ever produce : 
So thine be the laurel and mine be the bay, 
The field thou hast won by yon bright god of day." 

' A branch of the family, the Fergussons of Isle, resided for 
many centuries in the neighbouring parish of Kirkmahoe : 
their house, a fine specimen of a Scottish gentleman's domi- 
cile during the Middle Ages, is still to be seen entire, though 
untenanted, overlooking the patrimonial acres, and other 
ground full of historical and poetical interest — Dalswinton, 
Friars Carse, the lands of Lag, and Ellisland — on which we 
must not pause to dilate. 

* The Fergussons are literally " the sons of Fergus " ; and in 
like manner another ancient Dumfriesshire family, the 
Griersons, are "the sons of Gregor," those of them who 
settled in Lag tracing their descent from Gilbert, second 
son of Malcolm, Dominus de Macgregor, who died in 1374.' 

The following is an account of the Craigdarroch family, 
given by Sir Bernard Burke in his Landed Gentry (1894) : — 

' The Fergussons of Craigdarroch are of very ancient standing in 
the Sheriffdom of Dumfries, and the name is familiar to all who 
are acquainted with the minute history of Scotland. A Fergusson 
of Craigdarroch was one of the first that signed the Solemn League 
and Covenant ; another headed a small handful of men who 
defeated a portion of Cromwell's army at Glencairn, 1500 strong, 
in 1651 ; and a third fell at the battle of Killiecrankie. From 


John Fergusson of Craigdarroch, son and heir of Matthew Fergus- 
son of Craigdarroch, living in 1484, derived 

'Alexander Fergusson, Esq. of Craigdarroch, chosen M.P., 1717, 
m. Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxweltown, and was 
direct ancestor of 

' Eight Hon, Robert Cutlar Fergusson, Esq. of Craigdarroch, son 
of Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch, a distinguished Scottish 
advocate, the hero of Burns's song, "The Whistle." Mr. Cutlar 
Fergusson, who was born 1769, the representative of two very 
ancient houses, the Fergussons of Craigdarroch and the Cutlars of 
Orroland, was called to the English Bar, 1797, and for about 
twenty years practised with great success at Calcutta. Returning 
to his native country, he was elected M.P. for Kirkcudbright, 
1826. In 1834 he was appointed Judge- Advocate-General, and at 
the same time sworn of the Privy Council. He m. 17 May 1832, 
Marie Josephine, daughter of General Auger, in the French service, 
and by her (who m. secondly, the Vicomte de Prangy, and d. in 
Paris, 1 Sept. 1858), had issue 

' Robert Cutlar, of whom presently. 

'Adelaide, m. Mons. de Forcade, half-brother of Marshal St. 
Arnaud, Commander-in-Chief of the French Army in the Crimea, 
and died 25 Dec. 1889. 

'Mr. Cutlar Fergusson died at Paris 16 Nov. 1838. 

' His son and successor, 

'Robert Cutlar Fergusson of Craigdarroch, co. Dumfries, and 
of Orroland, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, J. P., born 3 Dec. 
1836; m. 26 Sept. 1854, Ella Frances Catherine, only daughter of 
Sir Archibald Alison, Bart., and by her (who m. 2ndly, 8 Oct. 
1861, Lieut.-Gen. the Hon. Sir James Charlemagne Dormer, 
K.C.B., General commanding Madras Army, who died from the 
effects of the bite of a tigress 3 May 1893) had issue — 

' Robert Cutlar, now of Craigdarroch. 

'Archibald William Cutlar, late Lieut. Rifle Brigade, b. 3 Aug. 1856. 

'Alexander Edward, b. 28 Nov. 1857; d. 20 June 1859. 

'Mr. Fergusson died 6 Oct. 1859. 

'Robert Cutlar Fergusson of Craigdarroch, late Captain Scots 
Guards, b. 26 July 1855 ; [served as A.D.C. to his uncle, General Sir 
Archibald Alison, G.C.B., in Egypt]; m. 5th Feb. 1889 Rose, elder 
daughter of John Grant Hodgson, Esq. of Cabalba, co. Hereford, 
and by her (who d. 1890) has issue — 

[^^^^\ jtwins, b. 12 Oct. 1889.' 


(I- 15) 




From the family of Craigdarroch descended General James 
Fergusson, G.G.B. (1787-1865), who was the son of Charles 
Fergiisson by his cousin, daughter of Alexander Fergusson 
of Craigdarroch. He entered the army in 1801, was soon 
transferred to the 43rd Light Infantry, and served with dis- 
tinction throughout the whole Peninsular war. ' Who,' says 
Napier in narrating the siege of Badajos, 'can sufficiently 
honour the hardihood of Fergusson of the 43rd, who, having 
in former assaults received two deep wounds, was here, his 
former hurts still open, leading the stormers of his regiment ; 
the third time a volunteer, the third time wounded.' After 
Salamanca he was promoted Major into the 79th Regiment. 
After serving in others, in 1825 he became Lieutenant- Colonel 
of the 52nd, one of the old Light Division Regiments, at 
the head of which he remained for thirteen years. He was 
appointed A.D.C. to King William iv. ; was Commander-in- 
Chief at Malta ; was publicly thanked by the Secretary of 
State for his services there during the Crimean campaign ; 
and was subsequently Governor and Commander-in-Chief at 
Gibraltar. General Fergusson died at Bath on 4th September 
1865. (For arms see ch. xiii.) 

Sept. 30, 1512. William Douglas of Drumlanrig, Johne Fer- 
gussoune of Cragdaroche, Thomas Fergusson, his son, and their 
complices, accused as art and part of the slaughter of Robert 
Crichton of Kirkpatrick, were discharged because the said Robert 
was a rebel at the home, Fergy Fergussoun and Robin Fergussoun 
being, however, excepted from this discharge. — (Pitcairn's Crim. 
Trials, i. p. 79.) 

Dec. 16, 1528-9. John Fergussone of Cragdareauche was among 
those denounced rebels for their abiding from the King's host and 
army at Tantallon. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, i. 150.) 

Dec. 6, 1536. Thomas Fergussoune of Cragdarroch had a 
remission for all crimes committed prior to this date. — (Pitcairn's 
Crim. Trials, i. 248.) 

7th July 1542. Tho. Fergussoun de Cragdarroch is a witness 
to a charter of James Douglas of Drumlanrig. — (Beg. Mag. Sig. 
ii. 2718.) 


10 Feb. 1574-75. Letters of legitimation to Robert Fergussoun, 
natural son of the late Thomas F. of Cragdarroch. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. 
iii. 2359.) 

13th April 1585. ' Fergussone of Craigdarroch ' is among 
persons charged to appear before the King and Council ' to have 
underlyne sik ordour and directioun as suld have beene gevin to 
thame for the weill and quietnes of the cuntrey.' — (P. C. Beg. iii. 
p. 735.) 

' Fergussoun elder of Craigdarroch ' is among persons ordained 
to find caution — he in 3000 merks — to ' obey the King, his 
Lieutenant and Warden in the pursuit of Lord Maxwell and his 
rebellious adherents, and for their entry before the Privy Council 
or the justice when required.' — (P. C. Beg. iii. p. 736.) 

28th Nov. 1587. Letters raised by Johne Fergussoun, son of 
Archie Fergussoun in Glencorshe, stated that he had obtained a 
decree before the Sheriff of Dumfries against Thomas Fergussoun 
in Scruba, son of Williame Fergussoun in Catloche, decerning the 
said Thomas to have done wrong in ejecting the complainer from 
the lands of Scruba in February 1577, and occupying the same him- 
self ever since that time. He had obtained authority to poind, 
and on the 14th Oct. last the Messenger had 'apprehendit ' on the 
lands of Scruba 18 score sheep and 14 old and six young nolt 
belonging to the said Thomas ; but as they were driving them to 
Sanquhar, ' Ptobert Fergussoun in Benbray, Johne Fergussoun in 
Comrik, . . . Thomas Fergusson in Scruba, . . . Malcolme Fer- 
gussone in Kaitloch, Robert Fergussoun, son of John Fergussoun 
of Craigdarroch, with their accomplices, '' bodin in feir of weir," 
all hounded out by John Fergussoun of Craigdarroch, " wrangously, 
maisterfuUie, and be force reft, intromittit with, and away tuke 
the forsaidis haill guidis fra the saidis officiaris and deforceit 
thame.'" The accused, with. John F. of C. and Robert, his son, 
having failed to appear, were ordained to be denounced rebels. 

On 20 Dec. caution was given for them that they would appear 
by John Maitland of Auchingassil and Archibald Wauchope of 
Niddrie.— (P. C. Beg. iv. 231 and 236.) 

1590. Craigdarroch appears in the roll of 'Landit men' upon 
the borders.— (P. C. Beg. iv. p. 786.) 

April 30, 1591. John Fergussoun of Craigdarrauch was Chan- 
cellor of an Assize in a case of parricide. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, 
i. p. 241.) 


27 Jan. 1592-3. R. F. apparent of Craigdarroch, cautioner for 
John Maxwell of Mocquhanrig. — {P. C. Reg. v. 580.) 

16 May 1594. R. F. of C, cautioner for 'Laird Lauchlison.'— 
(P. C. Beg. V. p. 620.) 

20 Feb. 1594. R. F. of C, cautioner for Griersons, elder and 
yr. of Barjarg.— (P. C. Beg. v. 645.) 

7th April 1597. Caution in 2000 merks by Johne Fergusoun 
of Craigdarroch that he, and all for whom he is answerable, shall 
keep the peace and redress all ' attemptattis ' that shall happen to 
be committed by him or them. — (P. C. Beg. v. p. 743.) 

17 June 1597. Robt. F., app. of C, cautioner for Robt. 

Fergussoun in M' , not to harm Andrew, Lord Stewart of 

Uchiltry.— (P. C. Beg. v. 685.) 

17 April 1600. — John F. of Craigdarroch, R. F., his son and 
apparent heir; John F. in Corridow, Thomas F., son of James F. 
in Chapelmark, appear in answer to a Sheriff-officer's complaint 
touching their 'allegeit persute and invasion of him with gunis 
and pistolettis, and hurting and wounding of him in divers pairtis 
of his body.' Protest.— (P. G. Beg. vi. p. 103.) 

21st July 1600. John F. of C. as principal and John F. of 
the Yle as surety, 1000 merks, not to harm Cuthbert Greer of 
Dalskairth or John M'^Call in Glendan.— (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 658.) 

13th June 1601. John F. of the Yle for Johne F. of C, £1000 ; 
Robert F., his son and app. heir, 1000 merks ; Thomas F., also his 
son, John F. in Blaroch ... 500 merks each not to harm Thomas 
F., son of James F. of Chapelmark. — (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 687.) 

22nd June 1601. Caution in 500 merks for Thomas F., son of 
James F., now in Glencryse, not to harm John F. of C. — (P. C. 
Beg. vi. p. 688.) 

20th July 1604. Robt. F., yr. of C, witness to a bond. — 
(P. a Beg. vii. 645.) 

23rd Jan. 1605. Caution for Robt. F., app. of Craigdarroch, in 
£1000 not to harm Johne Greirsoun, son and heir of the late 
Cuthbert G. of Dalskairth. Among the witnesses are 'Andro 
Fergusoun, clerk at Glencarne Kirk ; John F. in the Kirkland of 
Glencarne ; James F. in Shankeschiell.'— (P. C. Beg. vii. p. 584.) 

2nd Oct. 1606. Caution by Gilbert Gordon of Schirmeris for 


John F. of C, Robt. F., yr. of C, and Thomas F., son of said John, 
not to harm A. Menzies^of Enoch, etc. Bond written by Thomas 
F. at Schirmeris, and signed before John F., son of the said 
Robert, etc.— (P. C. Reg. viii. 674-5.) 

29th Sept. 1608. Bond by Sir Robt. Douglas of Coshogill for 
A. M. of E. not to harm the above. — {P. C. Reg. viii. p. 673.) 

13th Oct. 1608. Complaint by Adam Menzies of Enoch that 
John F. of Craigdarroch, Robert and Thomas F., his sons, John F., 
son of the said Robert, John Fergusoun in Correchdow, Thomas 
F. in Pymbey, Robert F. of Macalstoun, Johne F. of Over Inglis- 
toun, Ninian F. in Knoknaplait (Knokaskit), and John F. of 
Blairochy, alleging that the complainer molests them, had charged 
him CO find lawburrows in £1000. — {P. C. Reg. viii. p. 178.) 

loth Nov. 1608. Complaint by John F. of Craigdarroch, R. F., 
yr. of C, and Thos. F., son of said John, against A. M. of Enoch, 
etc.— (P. a Reg. viii. 193.) 

4th Aug. 1608. Caution for the above.— (P. C. Reg. viii. 664.) 

16 March 1609. Petn. of John F. of Craigdarroch for law- 
burrows against Thomas Fergusoun in Chappel Mark, etc. — (P. C. 
Reg. viii. p. 789 ) 

17th Sept. 1609. R. F., yr. of Craigdarroch, witness to a bond. 
—(P. C. Reg. viii. p. 710.) 

24 May 1610, and 20 June 1610. Robert Fergussone of Craig- 
darroch recorded as a member of assize on the first date, and 
Alexander Fergussone of Braikinsyde on the second. — {Reg. Mag. 
Sig. vi. 320.) 

1614. Thomas Fergussone, son of the late ... F. of Craig- 
darroche is mentioned as present at a transaction relating to the 
lands and barony of Glencarne on 16 August 1614. In the same 
the lands of Lochur are mentioned as having been granted to 
William Welsche of Colliestoun and Mariota Fergussone, his 
spouse, on 28 Nov. lb64:.— {Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 1546.) 

20 Feb. 1617. Grant to Thomas Fergussoun, brother of Robert 
F. of Craigdarroch, of the lands of Arnetosche (Arnelosche ?), 
Cubbox, and Dalcharnachan, in the parish of Balmaclellane and 
lordship of Galloway, and the lands of Glensyntoun, with the 
fishings in the parish of Partoun and Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. 
—(Pveg. Mag. Sig. vi. 1590.) 


1st Aug. 1627. Confirmed a charter dated 12 Sept. and 21 Dec. 
1626, by which George Rig, granted to William Ferguson of Craig 
darroch, 2 J mercatas terrarum de Dunreggane, in the parish of 
Glencairn and County of Dumfries, Thos. Fergussoun of Catloch 
being a witness, and John Fergussoun of Blakstoun a notary. — 
{lleg. Mag. Sig. 1620-1633, 1129.) 

26 March 1630. William Fergusson of Craigdarroch is re- 
ferred to as one of the curators of Agneta, Jeanna, and Nicola 
Griersones, heirs-portioners of James Grierson of Bracoche. — {lleg. 
Mag. Sig. 1620-1633, 1569.) 

Jan. 3, 1685. Joannes Fergussone de Craigdarroch /i<xTes Roberti 
Fergussone de Craigdarroch ^^rt/ris. — {Eetours, General, 6605.) 


#^" ,, - ' " 

/^ ' ■ * 

iKK^sae* s^^w^w 



^^^^C^ 1 



'The Fergussons of Isle, represented by Robert G. D. 
Fergusson, are also a family of ancient date. The property 
has been in their possession from the days of Robert the 
Bruce, and probably the lands were a grant from that great 
monarch for some important service rendered in the war of 
Scottish independence.' ^ 

The Isle burying-place is in the old churchyard of Dun- 
score. Over the door is the following inscription : — 

'In memory of Egbert Ferguson of Isle, Esquire, a most 
worthy gentleman and warm friend, who died, the last heir-male 
of that ancient and respectable family, on September xvii., 
MDccLXViiL, in the lxix. year of his age. 

' This monument is erected by Mrs. Isobel and Henrietta 
Fergusons, two of his sisters-german. 'a.d. mdcclxx.' 

It is noticeable that in this inscription the name is spelt 
with one s. Many Fergusons are buried in Dunscore. A 
Laird of Isle is said to have married a sister of ' Bonnie 
Annie Laurie.' 

The following is the account given by Sir Bernard Burke 
(1894) of the Fergussons of Isle : — 

1 Dumfriesshire Courier, August 24, 1875. 


' This is a branch of the ancient family seated at Craig- 

'John Fergusson of Isle had a charter, 20 Dec. 1580; his 

'Alexander Fergusson of Isle, in 1602, had a remission for 
killing Gilbert Wallace; bought Ferdingwell in 1612; had 
issue — 

' Alexander ; 

' Robert, who, with Agnes Graham, his wife, has sasine of 
the lands of Lago, etc., 1665, 

'The eldest son, Alexander Fergusson, Esq. of Isle (who is 
said in Douglas's Peerage to have married a daughter of Sir 
John Dalzell of Glenae, son of the Earl of Carnwath), had a pre- 
cept of dare constat, 1659. He married Elizabeth Maxwell, 
and left Agnes, m. 1685, John Maxwell of Baltersan,i and a son, 

' Alexander Fergusson of Isle, advocate, M.P. for Dumfries- 
shire, 1704-7, who had precept as heir to his father, 1699 ; 
added to the family estate by purchase, and died, 21 Feb. 
1719, aged 67. He married lirst, Agnes, daughter of John 
Crichton, Esq. of Crawfordton, co. Dumfries, and had 

' Robert, his heir ; 

'Janet, m. 12 March 1706, Captain George Chalmers, of 
the Earl of Drumlanrig's Regiment of Foot in the Dutch 
service, who died at Helvoetsluys, 16th February 1756. He 
was eldest son of Thomas Chalmers, advocate, who m. 16th 
January 1679, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir John Cooper 
of Gogar, co. Edinburgh, and grandson of James Chalmers, 
advocate, a second son of the family of Ashentrees. Mrs. 
Chalmers d. at Gibraltar, 12th January 1739, leaving 

' John Chalmers, of whom presently ; 

'Jane Chalmers, b. 11th June 1725; m. Lieutenant Francis 
Pringle, brother of Robert Pringle of Edgefield, a Senator of 
the College of Justice, and had two sons, Thomas and Henry, 
who d. unm., and Anne Pringle, m. James Fowler Baker, 
M.D., and had a daughter, Jane Mary Baker, Avho m. 1808, 
Joseph Gillon Fergusson, Esq., and left a son, 

1 On 27th March 1697 John Maxwell of Baltersan executed a bond at 
Isle to which one of the attesting witnesses was William Fergusson, brother- 
german to Mr. Alexander Fergusson of Isle. 


' Robert Don Gillon, who succeeded to Isle, 1831. 

' Alexander Fergusson, m. secondly (contract, 29 May 1693), 
Agnes, widow of Robert Gordon of Shirmers, co. Kirkcud- 
bright dausfhter of Sir Robert Laurie of Maxweltoun, Bart,, 
sister of ' Bonnie Annie Laurie,' and had 

' Isabel, d. unm. ; 

* Henrietta, d. unm. ; 
' Mary, d. unm. ; 

'Agnes, m. James Maxwell of Steilstoun, co. Dumfries, 
d. s.j9. 

'Jean, m. (contract, 27 April) Robert Fergusson, Esq. of 
Fourmerkland, co. Dumfries, and had issue. 

' Alexander Fergusson, m. thirdly, 2 December 1712, Mar- 
garet, daughter of John Brown, Esq. of Braid, co. Edinburgh, 
widow of Joseph Marjoribanks of Leuchie and of Thomas 
Edgar, surgeon in Edinburgh. His eldest son, 

' Robert Fergusson of Isle, entailed his estate, 23 July 1768, 
and d. s.p. 19 Sept. following. His sisters, Isabel, Henrietta, 
Agnes, Mrs. Maxwell, and Mary, had a liferent interest, which 
they in June 1772 renounced in favour of their nephew, 

'John Chalmers of Camelon, co. Stirling, captain, R.A., 
b. 14 Oct. 1709, who assumed the name of Fergusson. He m. 
Anne, daughter of William Comrie of Comrie, Perthshire, and 
d. 6 July 1780, leaving an only child, 

' Johanna Fergusson of Isle. She m. first, Michael, son of 
Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse, Bart. ; and, second (con- 
tract, 4th June 1798), Selkirk Stewart, captain, 4th Fencibles, 
who assumed the name of Fergusson. Mrs. Fergusson died, 
10 May 1831, without issue, and was succeeded by her cousin, 

' Robert Don Gillon-Fergusson of Isle, b. 5 July 1812 ; m. 
18 November 1842, Agnes, daughter of James Curie of 
Evelaw, co. Roxburgh, and d. 16 September 1879, leaving 
one son, now of Isle, and a daughter, Isabella Romanes. 

' Joseph Gillon-Fergusson of Isle, b. 24 January 1848 ; m. 
24th January 1882, Edith Mary, daughter of James Scott 
Elliot of Blackwood, co. Dumfries, of the family of Elliot of 
Larriston, and by her (who died 1890) has issue — 

' 1. Robert Don, b. 17 November 1884. 

• 2. James Scott Elliot, b. 1 November 1885. 


' 3. Joseph Chalmers, b. 31 May 1888. 
' 4. Isobel May.' 


18th Nov. 1580. Charter to Rob. Maxwell of Cowhill, con- 
firmed cum precepto sasine directo Jo. Fergussoun de He. — 
(Beg. Mag. Sig. iv. 43.) 

3rd May 1593. Complaint by Thomas Kirkpatrick of Closeburn, 
against Johne Fergusone of the Yle, and Alexander Fergusone his 
son, inter alios for making 'an unlawful band and league.' — (P. C. 
Beg. V. p. 74.) 

9th April 1594. Caution by Sir A. Stewart of Garlies, for J. F. 
of lie, in 1000 merks, and A. F. his son, in 300 merks, not to 
harm Closeburn. — (P. C. Reg. v. p. 617.) 

May 29th 1601. Johne Fergussone of the Yle sat on an assize. 
— (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, ii. 355.) 

August 1st 1601. He acted as chancellor of an assize. — 
(Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, ii. 355.) 

21st Feb. 1604. Alexander F. of the Yle, cautioner for Peter 
Macdougall of Machrimore.— (P. C. Beg. vi. p. 816.) 

8th July 1605. Caution for Al. F. of He.— (P. C. Beg. vii. 

1606. John F. of the Yle mentioned.— (P. C. Beg. vii. 252.) 

Alex. F. of He mentioned, 24th Sept. 1606,— (P. C. Beg. vii. 

24th Sept. 1607. Alexander F. of the He mentioned.— (P. C. 
Beg. vii. 443.) 

1607. Alex. F. of Isle mentioned.— (P. C. Beg. viii. 13.) 

2nd Nov. 1607. Al. F. of He mentioned as at the horn.— (P. C. 
Beg. viii. p. 631.) 

25th Feb. 1608. Complaint by Alex. F. of He, that R. Grahame 
of Reidkirk remains unrelaxed from a horning of 7th June 1606, 
for not restoring him 27 kye, 10 oxen, and a grey horse. — (P. C. 
Beg. viii. 57, 58.) 

15th Feb. 1610. Precept of sasine directed to John Fergusoun 
of mi— (Beg. Mag. Sig. vi. 243.) 


June 5th 1612. Alexander Fergusone of the Yle and others 
were delatit for contravening the Proclamatioun in abyding fra the 
Raid of the Yles in anno 1608. On the same day the same 
charge was passed from as regards James Fergusoun of Croche- 
dow, proved to be sick. The prosecution was ultimately dropped. 
— (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, iii. 225.) 

16th July 1612. Complaint of Alex. F. of Yle against Wm. 
Johnston, yr. of Graitney, for not restoring certain kye and oxen. 
—(P. C. Beg. ix. 411.) 

17th Dec. 1616. Tho. Fergussone of Ketloche, Joh. Fergus- 
sone of Carrochdu, and Alex. Fergusone of He appear as members 
of an assize. — (Beg. Mag. Sig. vi. 1258.) 

Sept. 30th 1679. Magister Alexander Fergusone de Yle Jueres 
Alexandri Fergusone de Yle patris. — (Betours, Gen., 8720.) 


' This family,' writes the Rev. John Menteith in The Parish 
of Glencairn, ' was a branch of the Fergiissons of Craigdarroch. 
It possessed at the close of last century the property of Dun- 
reggan as well as Caitloch. It was a family conspicuous for 
its favour to the Covenanters. The name of Thomas Ferguson 
of Caitloch appears in the list of the committee of gentlemen 
in Nithsdale who supported the Covenanters. Caitloch House 
was a well-known place of refuge for them. It was to Cait- 
loch that Mr. Blackadder betook himself for safety when 
ejected from Troqueer in May 1662. A party of the King's 
Life-Guard of Horse, commanded by Byte-the-Sheep Turner, 
reached Caitloch in search of Blackadder the very day he 
had left it for another place of safety. He also stayed a night 
there in 1678. The property seems to have passed from the 
Fergusons in the early part of this century.' 

'Act in favours of Mr. William Fergusone of Kaitloch. — 
Anent the petition given in and presented to their Majesties' 
High Commissioner and their Estates of Parliament be Mr. 
William fiergiison of Kaitloch, shewing, That where the 
petitioner was forefaulted, and the gift of his forefaulture 


granted to Coll. Ogil thorp with whom his son and friends did 
compone for the soiime of 9000 merks, for which repetition 
is provided by the General Act reducing forefaulters, but 
without any benefit to the petitioner. In respect that the 
said CoUonel is a stranger, having neither residence, estate, 
nor effects in Scotland, so that he can expect nothing that 
way. Lykeas beside the payment of the said Compositioune, 
the petitioner was thrust out of his estate worth £1000 Scots 
yearly for the space of eight years, without having access 
to uplift one farthing of his Rent, but on the contrary was 
constrained to fly with his wife and family to Holland, 
where he remained a banished man the forsaid whole eight 
years, In the which space lykeways his house was turned to 
a garisone, and not only spoiled and almost ruined within, 
but the whole planting and policy cut down and destroyed 
without: And seeing that through these the petitioner's 
troubles he has been brought to great distresses, and that 
the burden thereof is still so heavy upon his family that 
restitutione to him can avail him little without his Grace 
the Commissioner and Estates of Parliament their parti- 
cular consideratione and assistance. Therefore craving it 
might please his Grace their Majesties' Commissioner and 
Lords of Parliament, In consideratione of the premises to 
Recommend his case and sufferings to their Majesties' for 
such a just and gracious reparatione, and in such a manner 
as they shall be pleased to grant and determine, and that 
without any further necessity of taxing the petitioner's said 
sufferings to any liquid soume seeing that his said case 
and conditione is notour and speaks plainly for itself, and 
that he therein refers himselfe intirely to their Lo. justice 
and their Majesties' goodness and equity. Which petitione 
being this day heard and considered by his Majestie's high 
Commissioner and Estates of Parliament, and they being 
sufiicientlie convinced of the truth of what was therein 
represented. They doe recommend the Petitioner's case 
to their Majesties' gracious consideration. That their 
Majesties may be pleased to determine such reparatione 
to the petitioner as in their Majesties' wisdome and good- 
ness They shall thinke UV— (Scots Acts, 1690, c. 64.) 


Sept. 9th, 1665. Thomas Ferguisone Jilius Magistri Willielmi 
Fergussone feoditarii de Ketloch haeres Margaretae Strang matris. 
—(Eeiours, Gen., 4935.) 

Nov, 7th, 1676. Gulielmus Fergusone haeres Nicolae Strang 
sororis germanae Margaretae Strang sponsae Magistri Gulielmi 
Fergusone de Caitloch amitae. — (Betours, Gen., 5949.) 

Nov. 30th, 1698. Gulielmus Fergusone haeres Magistri Gulielmi 
Fergusone de Caitloch ^a^n's. — (Betours, Gen., 8040.) 


12th Dec. 1592. Ratification of inf ef tment of, inter alios, Robertum 
Fergussoun de Over M'Kilstoun in 1 mercat de Over M'Kilstoun, 
baronie de Erlistoun, senesc. Kircudbrigcht. — (Beg. Mag. Sig. iv. 43.) 

1597. Caution in 500 merks by Robt. Fergussone of Over 
M'Kilstone, not to harm Lord Ochiltree. — (P. C. Beg. v. p. 686.) 

March 15th, 1611. Robert Fergussone of M'Killiestoune was 
among those dilated for abiding from the Raid of the Isles, but 
acquitted on the ground that they had furnished sufficient able 
men to the King's Lieutenant, and had his Licence to abide at 
home themselves. — (Pitcairn's Crim. Trials, iii. 118.) 


16th Jan. 1506-7. John Fergussoun appears as holding the 
Chapelmark in a charter to Rob. Lord Crichton of Sanquhar. — 
(Beg. Mag. Sig. i. 3025.) 

Oct. 6th, 1612. Joannes Fergussoun haeres Jacobi Fergussoun 
de Chapelmark pairis, in 1 mercata terrae de Nether Myingryle 
antiqui extentus in baronia et parochia de Glencarne : — A. E. 
13/4*^, N. E. £4. 1 mercata terrae antiqui extentus de Chapelmark 
in baronia de Craufordstoun. E. £13: 8: 4'^ feudifirmae : 2 J 
mercatis terrarum antiqui extentus de Corrochdow in baronia de 
Glencarne, E. £13: 8: 4^^ feudifirmae. — (Betours, Dumfriesshire, 


29th Jan. 1610. Caution not to harm John F. of Corrodow, 
Thomas F. in Bcnboy, or John F., son of the late Thomas F., 
brother of John F. of Craigdarroch. — (B. C. Beg. viii. 718.) 


25 April 1618. Caution not to harm John F. in Gorrochdow. — 
(P. a Beg. viii. 727.) 

Jul. 22. 1647. Jacobus Fergusoun haeres Joannis Fergusoun de 
Gorrochdow patris, et Jacobi Fergusoun de Gorrochdow avi. — 
{Retours, Gen., 3327.) 


May 11, 1694. Agneta Maxwell, sponsa Jacobi Fergussone de 
Fourmerkland, haeres Quintigerni Maxwell de Fourmerkland avi, 
in 3 mercatis terrarum de Fourmerkland antiqui extentus : E. £4 : 
6 : 4 feudifirmae; 10 solidatis terrarum de Newtoune: E. 23/8'^ feudi- 
firmae; 10 solidatis terrarum in Newtoune lie Skeochthorne nuncu- 
patis antiqui extentus : E. 24/8*^ feudifirmae : 40 denariatis terrarum 
de Langlands : E. 10/ feudifirmae; molendino fullenario lie Waulk- 
milne nuncupate in parochia et baronia de Holywood, E. 20/ feudi- 
firmae. — {Retours, Dumfriesshire, 339.) 

' There is, at Fourmerkland, a toAver of small extent. It 
was built by R. Maxwell in the year 1590, and is still in part 
inhabited. This tower is the oldest inhabited buildino- in 
Holywood. It is nearly square, 24 feet by 19, having three 
storeys, and built of red sandstone with blue boulders inter- 
spersed. It has projecting turrets in the east and west 
corners, and is covered with ivy. From the appearance of 
the ground it seems to have been surrounded by a fosse filled 
with water. There was a draw-Avell, which has been removed.' 

On 9th April 1719 Agnes Maxwell, with consent of her 
husband, James Fergusson, granted a disposition in favour of 
Robert Fergusson their eldest son. On 27th April 1719 a 
marriage contract was entered into between the said Robert 
Fergusson and Jean Fergusson, eldest daughter of the 
deceased Alexander Fergusson of Isle, with consent of 
Sir Walter Laurie of Maxwelton, her mother's brother. 
In 1737 Alexander Fergusson is retoured heir to his father, 
the said Robert. On 1st January 1750 Jean Fergusson, 
spouse to Andrew Beveridge, minister of Caerlaverock, is 
retoured heiress of Alexander Fergusson her father. On 2nd 
June 1757 Mrs. Beveridge, with consent of her husband, 
disponed the lands to their son Andrew and his heirs, and 
failing them to their other children. On this disposition 


sasine was recorded, on 3rd May 1844, in favour of James 
M'Millan, Denniston, as heir of his grandimcle, Andrew 
Beveridge (son of Jean Fergusson). He sold the lands to 
Alexander Maxwell of Glengaber.i 


19th Oct. 1479. Compeared Vedast Grersone of the Lag, sum- 
moned at the instance of Robert Fergusson of Brekansyde, and 
protested for the said Robert's coming not to follow him. — {Acta 


18 Aug. 1531. Rex concessit Johanni Fargussoun nepoti et 
heredi apparenti, Brisii F. de Algarth, et Jonete Kirkpatryk ejus 
sponse 3 marcatas terrarum antiqui extentis viz. unam marc, de Al- 
garth unam marc, de Blakcrag, unam marc, de Fyrach in parochia 
de Dalgarnok \dc. Dumfreis quas dictus Bris. resignavit, etc. — (Beg. 
Mag. Sig. ii. 1060.) 

22 March 1536-37. The lands of Aulgarth, 'quas Joh. Fergus- 
soun de Auldgarth in manibus cancellarii resigna\at,' are granted 
to John MaxweU, burgess of Dumfries. — {Beg. Mag. Sig. ii. 1652.) 


Thomas Fergusson of Halhill, and Susan Maxwell his 
spouse, are mentioned in 1687, and Thomas Ferguson in 
1701. — (M'Kerlie's Lands and their Oivners in Galloway.) 

In a notice of the parish of Kirkpatrick-Irongray,^ it has 
been stated that ' Halhill was originally a separate property. 
The family of Fergusson, a branch of the Craigdarroch Fer- 
gussons, possessed it for many generations. Thomas Fergus- 
son of Halhill, the first that has come under our notice in con- 
nection Avith it, appears as proprietor towards the close of the 
seventeenth centur}^ On a fly-leaf of a very old and interesting 
kirk-session minute-book is the following note of baptism : — 

' " Robert, son to Thomas Ferguson of Hallhill, was baptized 
Feb. 23rd 1690 by Mr. James Alexander." 

1 Notes by Mr. G. T. Ferguson. ^ Dumfries Courier, 6th Nov. 1877. 



' The name Thomas Ferguson of Hallhill frequently occurs 
in the sederunts of heritors' meetings, from 1712 to 1722. He 
died 12th February 1722 aged 64. Robert succeeded his 
father. He died in 1757 at the age of 67, and was succeeded 
by his brother Alexander, who died in March 1763 aged 70, 
At this time the estate passed from the family.' 

The kirk-session records also state : 

' Thomas Ferguson of Hallhill, younger, before his child 
was baptized, was rebuked before the congregation for taking 
the test, and promised to make further satisfaction if re- 


In September 1686 Captain John Fergusson of Dowalton 
had sasine of Bardiestane in Anwoth parish, of Barholm in 
Kirkmabreck, and of St John's Croft, Gourlay's Laggan and 
Laggan-Mullan. On 21st June 1694 John Ferguson of 
Dowaltoun acquired the superiority of Laggan-Mullan. On 
8th March 1697 Captain John Ferguson disponed the 
superiority of Barholm, etc., to John M'Culloch of Barholm. 
- — (M'Kerlie's Lands and their Owners in Galloway.) 


John Ferguson of Craivoch had sasine of Blackmark and 
Craiglour in Dairy parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, on 7th Sept. 
1671. He was succeeded by his son, James Ferguson, Avho 
had sasine on 8th April 1676. — (M'Kerlie's Lands and their 
Owners in Galloway.) 


James Ferguson of Kerroch had sasine of Dalshaugan, 
parish of Carsphairn, in Sept. 1686. On 5th June 1706 
James Ferguson of Kerroch had sasine of Kerroch, Craiglour, 
Blackmark, etc., and on 9th April 1795 John Ferguson of 
Cairoch, and Isobel Gordon his spouse, had sasine. — (M'Ker- 
lie's Lands and their Owners in Galloway.) 



'Helen, third daughter of Robert Maxwell of Hazlefield, 
married Robert Ferguson of Balefils (?), as shown by contract 
of marriage dated 27 th January 1747. They had issue an 
only daughter, Helen, who married Robert, only son of John 
Welsh of Craigenputtock (Dumfriesshire). — (M'Kerlie's 
Lands and their Owners in Galloway.) 


Robert William Fergusson, Esq. of Kilquhanity, Kirkcud- 
brightshire, is eldest son of John Fergusson, Esq. of Kilqu- 
hanity, who died 1886, by Susan Whitehorn, daughter of 
George AVhitehorn Laurence, Esq. of Largnean, co. Kirkcud- 
bright, bom 1858. Is a J.P. and C.S. for Kirkcudbright 
(Kilquhanity, Dalbeattie, N.B.); married 1894, Charlotte 
Georgina, youngest daughter of the late Joseph Honner, Esq., 
Clerk of the Crown for co. Tipperary. 


Mr. Jabez E. Johnson-Ferguson, M.P. for the Loughborough 
division of Leicestershire, is proprietor of Springkell in Dum- 
friesshire, and Wiston in Lanarkshire. Mr. Johnson-Fergu- 
son's paternal name is Johnson, and his connection with, and 
possession of the name of Ferguson arises from his marriage 
with the niece and heiress of the late Mr. James Ferguson of 
Wiston and Auchinheath, m Lanarkshire. 


' John Ferguson, the first of this family of which there is 
any record, came from Ayrshire to Glasgow towards the 
middle of the eighteenth century. There he acted for a time 
as manager of Dickson's Iron- works, afterwards moving to 
Muirkirk in A3^rshire, where he Avas employed in the same 

'John Ferguson, his son, was born in Muirkirk in 1784 
and followed his father's avocation. He was greatly interested 


in geology and kindred studies, and was awarded by tlie 
Highland Society, in the year 1835, a service of silver plate. 
He married a Miss Annie Weir of" Kilbarchan, and died in 
1859, survived by four sons and three daughters. 

' James Ferguson, eldest son of the above, was born at 
Muirkirk in 1812. Educated as a mining engineer, at the 
early age of twenty he acquired the lease of the gas-coal- 
field at Auchinheath, in Lanarkshire, which was then little 
known and very inefficiently worked. Under his manage- 
ment the Lesmahagow cannel coal became celebrated all over 
the world; he acquired a large fortune, while, during the 
forty years of his connection with the Auchinheath Gas Coal 
Works, disputes with his workmen were unknown. He 
became proprietor of Ellen Bank, Lesmahagow, Auchinheath 
Cottage, which he enlarged to the dignity of a country house, 
and, later on, acquired the lands of Wiston, in the ujjper ward 
of Lanarkshire. He married Miss E. Simpson of Avondale, 
and died in 1872, leaving no issue. 

* John Ferguson, brother of the above, died in middle age, 

* William Ferguson, brother of the above, was born at 
Muirkirk in 1823, and also educated as a mining engineer. 
He married Miss Janet Cooper of Larkhall, and died at 
Kilmarnock in 1868, leaving two daughters, the elder of 
whom, Eliza Grier, survives; married in 1884 James Paterson, 
R.S.W., Moniaive, Dumfriesshire. 

' Allan Ferguson, brother of the above, born at Muirkirk 
in 1835 (?), married EHzabeth Williamson, a native of Shet- 
land, and emigrated to Canada, where he resides at Pictou, 
Nova Scotia. He has issue three sons and five daughters. 

'Anna Ferguson, sister of the above, married William 
Cunningham, Banker, Manchester, and left issue two 
daughters, Anna Maria, and Wilhelmina Margaret Ellen. 
The former married Edward Donner, merchant, Manchester, 
the latter, Jabez Edward Johnson, son of Jabez Johnson of 
Kenyon Hall, who on his marriage assumed the additional 
name of Ferguson. Mrs. Johnson-Ferguson inherited from 
her uncle, James Ferguson, the properties of Auchinheath 
and Wiston, and her husband has recently acquired the 


estate of Springkell, Dumfriesshire. They have issue one son, 
WilUam Alexander James. 

'Margaret Ferguson, sister of the above, born 1815, mar- 
ried first a Mr. Milligan, and on his death, John Reid, 
merchant in Glasgow. Mrs. Reid still survives (1895), but 
has no family. 

' Eliza Fergvbson, sister of the above, married Dr. Davidson 
of Newmilns ; both are deceased.' 


'The line of railway,' writes Harper in his Rambles in 
Galloicay, 'passes close to Loch Skerrow with its islets of 
birch and alder trees, almost the only specimens we see 
betwixt New Galloway and Dromore. A short distance west 
of the loch is Auchencloy Martyr's Monument, situated in a 
level mossy plain amongst the hills. In the Statistical 
Account we find it stated that " Graham of Claverhouse in 
1684 surprised six persons who were concealing themselves at 
Auchencloy, Loch Skero, and instantly shot four of them. 
One of them from Nithsdale was buried on the spot where he 
fell, and a humble tombstone, lying fiat on the ground, was 
subsequently erected to his memory, bearing the following 
mscription : 

' " Memento Mori. 
'"Here lies Robert Ferguson, who was surprised and instantly 
shot to death on this place by Graham of Claverhouse, for his 
adherence to Scotland's Reformation, Covenants, National 
and Solemn League, 1684." 

* In 1835 a sermon was preached, and collection made for 
erecting a more suitable monument, " an object since accom- 
plished by means of this collection and public subscription." ' 

In the year 1773 a melancholy accident took place on the 
river Nith, by the capsizing of a ferry-boat, when six out of 
thirteen persons were drowned, and among them, James Fer- 
guson, farmer, Glenwhargen, a man remarkable for his per- 
sonal strength. 

The family to which Mr. G. T. Ferguson, Maxwelton, 


Dumfries, belongs, are descended from a Ferguson who came 
from the north fully three centuries ago. Mr. Ferguson pos- 
sesses a Bible dated 1590, which belonged to his forefathers. 
Two brothers originally came, it is said, from Aberdeenshire 
to the neighbourhood of Moffat, about 1590, one of whom 
returned after a few years, while the other settled in the 
south. About a century ago a branch migrated to Close- 

The following notices of a family remarkable for their 
services to education have been communicated by Mr. George 
T. Fergusson. They appeared in a notice of the parish of 
Morton, in the Dumfries Courier, May 5tli, 1874 : — 

' George Ferguson, AM., LL.D. — Dr. Ferguson, though a 
native of Tynron, having been born about 1798, properly 
belonged to Morton, where he received his education at the 
parish school from Mr. Hamilton, who was a distinguished 
teacher in the early part of the century. He was appointed 
to the parish school of Dunscore in the year 1816 or 1817, 
which he retained for some time; but, proceeding to the 
University of Edinburgh, he distinguished himself so as to 
attract the attention of the late Professor Pillans. By his 
recommendation he became tutor in the family of Mr. Loch, 
M.P. for the Wick Burghs, and in 1824, when the Edinburgh 
Academy was instituted, he was appointed one of the Classical 
Masters. There he continued till 1847, when he succeeded 
to the Professorship of Humanity in King's College, Aber- 
deen; and on the union of King's College with Marischal 
College he retired on a pension. He died in 1866. Dr. 
Ferguson was a distinguished classical scholar, and edited 
many school-books, which have proved by their scholarship 
so use fid that they have never yet been superseded. 

' His elder brother, Alexander Ferguson, A.M., was also an 
eminent teacher, having commenced his career at a small 
school at Burnhead, in the parish of Dunscore, in 1814. In 
1818 he was elected parochial schoolmaster of Mouswald, and 
in 1828 he was transferred to the parish school of Dryfesdale, 
at Lockerbie, where he continued till 1873, thus completing 
fifty years' service in that parish. In 1868 a Jubilee enter- 


taiiiment was given to him by his old pupils to mark their 
high appreciation of their obhgations to him. 

' His third brother, Robert Ferguson, A.M., became minister 
of Fenwick, in Ayrshire, and in 1843, leaving the Established 
Church, was appointed to St. David's Free Church, Edm- 
burgh. He died in 1866. 

' His fourth brother, Janies Ferguson, M.D., received the 
earlier part of his education at the parish school of Morton, 
and afterwards at the Edinburgh Academy, under his brother. 
He entered the Edinburgh University as a medical student, 
and after completing the ordinary course took the degree of 
M.D. ; but not liking the medical profession, and being an 
excellent classical scholar, especially in Greek, he started 
a classical seminary in Aberdeen, known as the West End 
Academy, and for many years was very successful. He died 
when comparatively a young man, in 1864. He edited the 
first and second books of Xenophon's Anabasis, with vocabu- 
lary, which is still popular among teachers. He pubHshed 
also Grammatical Exercises on the Moods and Tenses and 
Syntax of Attic Greek, with vocabulary. 

' His younger brother, John, is now Free Church minister 
at Barr, in Ayrshire.' 

The following inscription marks the family burying-place: — 


who died at Gracefield, Keir, 1st March 1853, aged 83 years. 

Also, Mary Johnstone, his wife, who died at Gracefield, 
10th March 1867, aged !)4 years. 

Also, Agnes Ferguson, their daughter, who died at Greea- 
head, Morton, 12th April 1818, aged 17 years. 

Also, William Ferguson, their son, who died at School- 
house, Dryfesdale, 13 th December 1835, aged 16 years. 

Also, Marion Ferguson, their daughter, who died at Man- 
chester, 21st February 1858, aged 53 years. 

Also, James Ferguson, M.D., for many years Headmaster of 
West End Academy, Aberdeen, who died at Gracefield, 16th 
May 1864, aged 52 years. 


Also, George Ferguson, A.M., LL.D., their son, for many- 
years one of the Classical Masters, New Academy, Edin- 
burgh, and latterly Professor of Humanity, King's College, 
and University, Aberdeen, and died there, 14th July 1866, 
aged 67 years. 

Also, the Eev. Robert Ferguson, A.M., their son, who died 
at Gracefield, 18th December 1866, aged 63 years. He was 
for more than 23 years Minister of Free St. David's, Edin- 
burgh, and for nearly 7 years previous to the Disruption he 
was Minister of the parish of Fenwick, Ayrshire. 

Also, Alexander Ferguson, A.M., their son, who died at 

Lockerbie, 19th August 1879, aged 83 years. For 5 years he 

held the office of schoolmaster in the parish of Mouswald, and 

for 52 years the same office in the parish of Dryfesdale. 

Also, Elizabeth Ferguson, their daughter, who died at 
Dumfries, 24th September 1882, aged 75 years. 

Alexander Fergussoun, called Sandie of Knokhachill, is a witness 
to a charge executed on 17 Feb. 1579, upon Thomas Grierson, 
brother of Lag.— (P. a Reg. iii. 768.) 

9 Jul. 1587. David Fergusson in Glenshymmerhauch appears 
on an assize as to lands in Balmaghie, Kirkcudbright. — (Reg. Mag. 
Sig. iv. 1472-74.) 

7th April 1606. Among the Nithisdaill fugitives from the Court 
held by the Commissioners over the late Marches in Dumfries, was 
' Davie Fergusone in the Eiggis.' — (P.C. Reg. vii. -p. 725.) 

4th Feb. 1608. Complaint by John M'Kinney in Little Demp- 
tertoun that, 'upon 8th Nov. last, Niniane Fergusson in Knok- 
auchy, and John Fergusoune called the goodman of Blaikistoun, 
with others, came at night to the complain er's house, lured him 
forth under a pretext of friendship, and then with drawn whingers 
" maist fearslie " set on him, and gave him " twa deidlie woundis, 
the ane in his schoulder, and the uther in his body," so leaving 
him for deid. They then leapt on their horses and " over-raid the 
said compleanaris spous and barinis, trade thame undir thair horse 
feit, and sua brisit the said complenaris said spouse, that scho is yit 
lyand bed-fast.'" — (P.C. Reg. viii. p. 46.) 

161L Caution for James Fergusoun in St. Johne's Clauchane. 
—(P.C. Reg. ix. 675.) 

22 May, 1616. Eliz. alias Bessie Fergussoun, widow of John 

2 E 


Maxwell of Moquhanrick, mentioned as having occupied the lands of 
Cuslugis, in Holy wood parish, Dumfries. — {Reg. Mag. Sig. vi. 1436.) 
29 Feb. 1644. Isobella Morison, spouse of James Fergusson, 
merchant, burgess, Dumfries, served heir to Janet Morison, her 
sister. — (Befoitrs.) 


(a) From Edinburgh Co7)ir}iissariate Testamentary Records. 

1579. 29 August. Agnes Kirkpatrick, spouse of John Fergu- 
son, yr. of Craigdarroch. 

1577. 16 Dec. Cuthbert Ferguson, Correckdow, Glencairn ; 
Malcolm Ferguson, Chapelmark. 

1588. 20 April. Eobert Ferguson of Craigdarroch. 

1594. 7 Dec. Gielles Maxwell, sp. of Eob. Ferguson of Craig- 

1595. 2 August. John Ferguson = Jonet Ausleunne. 

in Jerbrugh 
+ 1594. 

Ferguson = 

James F., oy. 
Among the witnesses are John F. of Craigdarroch and Eob. (?), 
yr. thereof There are legacies to 'the wee (?) Laird of Craig- 
darroch,' and Marion F., the testator's oy. 

(6) From Dumfries Coonr}iissariate Testamentary Records. 

1657. 23 Nov. John Ferguson in = Janet Eobson. 
Croichmuir, I 
+ 1657. __J 

I I 1 

John. Eobert. Jean. 

1657. 25 Nov. 

John Ferguson in = Barbara Maxwell. 

Fourpart (?) of | | 

Dalswinton,-|-1657. Nicolas. Maria. 

Alexander Ferguson of He, and Eob. F., his brother, Tutors. 

1682. 10 Oct. Agnes Graham = Eob. Ferguson of Hawhill. 

I I 

Thos. F., only son. Agnes. 


1687. April 20. | 1 

John Ferguson = Eob. Ferguson of 

1 Craigdarroch. 

Wm. Sarah. 

1702. Eobert Ferguson of Craigdarroch and Agnes Douglas, 
his spouse. 

1723. Jan. Alex. Ferguson of Isle == 

Advocate, -f 1719. | 

Eob. F. of Isle. 


(From Scott's Fasti Scoticance Ecdesice.) 

Johnston (Lochmaben). 

1673. Archibald Fergussone, A.M., son of Will. F., in 
Dirletoune, to whom he was served heir, 27th August 1698 ; 
grad. Ed. 1st August 1662 ; licens. by George, Bishop of 
Edinburgh, 20th April 1669 ; trans, to Kirkpatrick-Juxta 
about 1682. — [Inq. Bet. Gen. 8014; Edin. Grad. Reg. Collect.; 
Test. Reg. (Dumf.)] 


1682. Archibald F., translated from Johnston; ousted by 
a rabble of men and women in 1689, who attacked him in 
the manse, beat him on the head and legs, and tore off his 
clothes m the presence of his wife who was far gone in 
pregnancy. — [MS. Account of Min., 1689 ; Eule's Sec. Vindi- 

In 1698 he was served heir of AYilliam Ferguson in Dirl- 
toun, his father. 

Kirkmichael (Lochmaben). 

1684. James Ferguson, A.M., a native of Aberdeenshire, 
took his degree at Un. and King's Coll. there, 9th July 1668. 
—[Fasti Aber. ; Test. Reg. (Dumf.)] 


Tundergarth (Lochniaben). 

1761. Joseph Ferguson, lie. Edin. 27th June 1759; pres. 
and ad. 1761. Died 18th January 1791, in 73rd age and 30th 
min. — [Presb. and Syn. Reg.; Tombstone; Sinclair's Stat. 
Ace. xix.] 

Kelton (Kirkcudbright). 

164 — . James Fergusson, A.M., laureated Gl. Un. 1631 ; 
was here at time of pestilence, 23rd Xovember 1648; and 
was, according to AVodrow, deprived on the establishment of 
Episcopacy, which seems doubtful. Died at Edinburgh, 
1667, aged about 64. — [Mun. Un. GL iii. ; Dumfries Presb. 
Beg. ; Wodrow's Hist. ; Edin. Un. Inst, N.S. iii. ; Com. 
Committee of Kirkcudbright] 

Buittle (Kirkcudbright). 

1645. Kobert Fergusson, A.M., brother of Mr. James F., 
min. of Kelton, grad. Un. Gl. 1638 ; Member of Commission 
of Assembly, 1649 ; continuing with others to hold meetings 
of the Presbytery after they had been discharged, 9th 
January 1662, he was carried to Edinburgh in June follow- 
ing, yet speedily returned, but was deprived on establishment 
of Episcopacy, and called before the Privy Council, 24th 
February 1663. Died at Edinburgh, 1667, aged 59.— 
[Mun. Un. Gl. iii.; Dumfries Presb. Peg.; Wodrow's Hist. 
and MSS. ; Acts of Ass. ; Edin. Un. Pas. iii.] 

Sorbie (Wigtown). 

16 — . Alexander Ferguson, A.M., acquired his degree at 
the Univ. of Glasgow in 1650; deprived by the Acts of 
Parliament, 11th June, and Privy Council 1st October 1662. 
He was accused before the Privy Council, 24th February 
thereafter, of ' still labouring to keep the hearts of the people 
from the present Government in Church and State.' He left 
for Ireland, and got charge of a congregation in co. Down. — 
[Mun. Un. GL iii. ; Wodrow's Hist. ; Keid's Ireland, ii. etc.] 


Inch {Stranraer), 

1788. Peter Fergusson, lie. 27tli April 1785; pres. by 
George in., and ordained 1788. Died llth May 1835, in 80th 
year and 47tli min. He married, lOth November 1798, 
Marion Murray, who died 26th December 1847, and had Dr. 
Thomas, St. John's, Antigua ; James, who succeeded to the 
benefice ; Robert, merchant, Glasgow ; John, surgeon, Stran- 
raer; and Elizabeth, who married Rev. John Lamb, Kirk- 
maiden, etc. Publication — Account of the Parish (Sinclair's 
Stat Ace. ii.) — {Pres. and Syn. Reg., etc.] 

1822. James Fergusson, A.M., son of preceding, born 3rd 
November 1800 ; licen. by the Presb. 6th February 1822 ; 
pres. by George iv. and ord. (assist, and sue.) same year. Died 
1st January 1862, in 62nd year and 40th min. Married 
Agnes T. Guthrie. Publications — ' Thoughts on the Clerical 
Office, a Sermon:' Glasgow, 1828. Account of the Parish 
{New Stat. Ace.) — [Pr. and Syn. Peg.] 





The following notice of his family, which, though now located 
in Peeblesshire, traces its origin to Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, 
has been contributed by Sir James Ranken Fergusson, Bart, 
of Spitalhaugh : — 

Fergusson of Spitalhaugh. 

The above famity owe their territorial designation to the 
marriage of William Fergusson with Helen Hamilton Ranken, 
who, on the death of her brother, Charles Hamilton Ranken, 
in 1839, became heiress of the lands of Spitalhaugh. 

Charles Hamilton, born 1696, died 1776, second son of 
Hamilton of Gilkerscleugh, an old family in Lanarkshire, 
purchased Spitalhaugh and Bordlands from Richard Murray 
of the Blackbarony family, in 1738, and Helen Hamilton was 
his great-gi'anddaughter. 


William Fergusson was born in 1808 at Prestonpans, His 
father, James Fergusson, was the representative of a family 
that had held property in Lochmaben, Dmnfriesshire, for 
many generations — traditionally, from the days of Robert the 
Bruce ; and the family are supposed to have been connected 
with the Craigdarroch Fergussons in the same county, to 
whom Burns alludes in his poem of ' The AVhistle ' : ' Thy 
line that have struggled for freedom with Bruce.' William 
Fergusson was educated at the Grammar School, Lochmaben, 
and then at the High School and University of Edinburgh. 
He was originally intended for the law, but his tastes led 
him to the study of surgery ; and, giving up legal training, he 
became a pupil of the celebrated Dr. Knox, devoting himself 
to his work with such zeal and industry as to lay a solid 
foundation for his future fame. Many sketches of his career 
have appeared. There is one in the Dictionary of National 
Biography, another in Fifiana : or Memorials of the East of 
Fife. Its appearance in Fifeshire biography is accounted for 
by reason of his father's marriage with Elizabeth Hodge, of a 
family that lived at Crail. A brief notice of various important 
stej)s and promotions is all that is required here. At the 
early age of twenty-seven he was appointed one of the 
surgeons to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and five years 
later, in 1840, he was elected to the Chan of Surgery in 
Kinor's CoUeo-e, London. His fame soon became established, 
and he was regarded as one of the most shining lights of his 
profession. Robert Listen died in 1848; and, soon after, 
another great surgeon, Aston Key, passed away. These 
deaths opened a wider field to Fergusson, and his reputation 
and practice steadily increased. His principal literary work 
was Practical Surgery, Avhich has passed through many 
editions in this country and also in America. He was the 
author of many papers and addresses which appeared in the 
medical journals. He also delivered ' Lectures on the Pro- 
gress of Anatomy and Surgery during the Present Century ' 
at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, of which Insti- 
tution he was President in 1870. He was a Fellow of the 
Royal Society of London and also of Edinburgh ; held many 
honorary appointments, and also was Fellow of many foreign 



societies. On the death of Aston Key he was appointed, in 
1849, Surgeon in Ordinaiy to H.RH. the late Prince Consort; 
in 1855 he became Surgeon Extraordinary to the Queen; 
and in 1875 Sergeant-Surgeon. In 1866 a baronetcy had 
been conferred on him. It is worthy of note that a very 
compHmentary notice of WilHam Fergusson appeared in the 
Medical Times of Aus^ust 2, 1845, which commences thus : 


'Come, W. Fergusson, F.RS.E. — Sir WilHam Fergusson, 
Bart.— the head of surgery that is to be.' The writer proved 
a true prophet. Sir William Fergusson died in February 
1877 at his house, 16 George Street, Hanover Square, Lon- 
don, and was buried in the Spitalhaugh family ground in 
West Linton churchyard, Peeblesshire. The removal of the 
body from the house to the railway station at Euston Square 


was the occasion of a great and touching demonstration ; a 
large concourse of medical students, of friends and admirers, 
attending to show their respect. His wife, Helen Hamilton 
Ranken, had predeceased him in 1861, leaving a family of 
three sons and three daughters. Sir Wilham was deeply 
attached to his Peeblesshire home, and under his hands the 
modest, unpretending old house of Spitalhaugh, built in 1677, 
was transformed into the imposing structure, beautifully 
situated, which now adorns the banks of the Lyne, about 
two miles below West Linton. Sir William added the small 
farms of Noblehall, Broomlee, and Damside to the acreage of 
Spitalhaugh ; and in 1877 the present Baronet purchased the 
estate of Bordlands, originally acquired with Spitalhaugh by 
Charles Hamilton in 1738, but which had been sold in 1805. 

Sir William Fergusson's family consisted of James Ranken, 
now second Baronet, born 1835, educated at King's College, 
London, and Christ Church, Oxford; called to the Bar, 
Lincoln's Inn ; published a volume of poems and ballads in 
1877, the ballads treating mostly of Scottish history ; mem- 
ber of the Royal Company of Archers, Queen's Body-Guard 
for Scotland ; J.P. and D.L. for Peeblesshire. Married lirst, 
1862, Mary Ann Somes, daughter of Thomas Colyer, Esq. of 
AVombwell Hall, Kent. She died 1868, leaving two sons; 
the elder died in 1873; the younger, Thomas Colyer, bom 
1865, is now the owner of Wombwell Hall, Gravesend, Kent, 
and also of the very interesting old house of Ightham Mote, 
near Sevenoaks, Kent. He was educated at Harrow and 
Christ Church, Oxford; B.A., 1889 ; married in 1890 Beatrice 
Stanley, daughter of Professor Max Muller of Oxford, by 
whom he has three children— Max Christian Hamilton, born 
1890, the name Christian being given in consequence of the 
Princess Christian being his godmother; Mary Adelaide 
Somes, and William Porteous (born 1893).^ 

^ Ightham Mote is an interesting specimen of domestic architecture, dating 
back to the fourteenth century. The latest additions belong to the Tudor 
period. The house is built round an open quadrangle, 76 feet by 53 feet, and 
is surrounded by a moat of running water, which is crossed by three bridges. 
Ightham Mote takes its name, Mote, from having been the meeting-place of 
the Eighthams, or hamlets, of which the village of Ightham is composed. It is 
situated on the high ground above the Weald of Kent, and is about six miles 



Sir James married, secondly, in 1877, Louisa, second 
daughter of William Forbes of Medwyn, Peeblesshire. She 
died 1878, leaving a son, Louis Forbes, now at Harrow. 

Sir James married, thirdly, 1886, Alice Fanny, daughter 
of the late John Price Simpson, and there is issue of this 
marriage, two sons and two daughters — Margaret Alice 
Hamilton, Helen Hamilton, James Adam Hamilton (1892), 
Charles Hamilton (1894). A request in a will of a daughter 


of Charles Hamilton, dated the end of last century, that the 
name of Hamilton should be continued by all owning the 
estate of Spitalhaugh accounts for the use of the name in 
the above cases. The name Adam is used on account of 

from Sevenoaks. It has passed through numerous hands, and was bought in 
1889 by Thomas C. Colyer-Fergusson, who has done much to restore it. 
Among the more noticeable rooms are the lofty dining-hall, 30 feet by 20 feet, 
and 35 feet in height, which was built in the fourteenth century, and the 
chapel, built about 1520-30 by Sir Richard Clement ; this contains an almost 
unique waggon roof, painted with various heraldic designs. — {T. C. C.-F.) 


Lad}^ Fergusson's great-grandfather being the celebrated Dr. 
Adam, Rector of the High School, Edinburgh. 

William Ranken, born 1837, died 1864; educated at Hailey- 
bury ; was in the East India Civil Service. 

Jane Porteous. 

Katherine Hamilton. 

Helen Seymour. 

Charles Hamilton, born 1849 ; educated at Harrow ; joined 
the 72nd Regiment (Seaforth Highlanders) ; served in Afghan 
campaign, 1879-80 (medal with two clasps), and in Egyptian 
campaign 1882 (medal and bronze star); was severely wounded 
at the entry to Cabul, a bullet destroying his right eye and 
grazing the bridge of his nose ; has retired, and now is 
Brevet-Major. He resides with his sisters at Broomlee, West 

An uncle of Sir William Fergusson is worthy of being 
mentioned. General William Fergusson was younger brother 
of Sir William's father, and entered the Royal Marines, 
receiving his Lieutenant's commission in 1798. He was 
Colonel-Commandant at Plymouth when he retired in 1851, 
and during his long career had seen much service. In 1800 
he was on board the Queen Charlotte, which was burnt off 
Leghorn, and was one of the very few survivors of that 
catastrophe; he was for three hours in the water eighteen 
miles from land, and received a severe wound from part 
of the wreck. He served with Sir Ralph Abercromby in 
Egypt in 1801, and was actively engaged for many years after. 
He was a genial old man, and had many stories of old life in 
Dumfriesshire, in which county he took much interest and 
had many friends, whom he used to visit whenever oppor- 
tunity granted. Sir William Fergusson had much respect 
for him, and owed much to him in his early days. He was 
appointed Lieutenant-General 1857 ; he had the medal for 
services in Egypt ; was a Knight of the first class of the 
Turkish Order of the Crescent, and was also a Knight Com- 
mander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. He took the 
deepest interest in his nephew's career and family ; died 
unmarried in London in 1861, at the age of 83, and was 
buried at Kensal Green. 


The following additional particulars as to the descent of 
the Spitalhaugh family are taken from a pedigree communi- 
cated by Thomas C. Colyer-Fergusson, Esq. of Ightham 
Mote :— 

Edicard Fergusson, resident in Lochmaben, married Janet 
Kerr, and had a brother, James Fergusson, burgher in Loch- 
maben, who married Agnes Kerr and died s.p. Agnes Kerr 
or Fergusson died in December 1690. 

Edward Fergusson had a son, James Fergusson, also resi- 
dent in Lochmaben, and a daughter Mary, who married 
William Bell of Balgray. 

James Fergusson, the son of Edward, had a son, John Fer- 
gusson, who was a Bailie m Lochmaben, and married, 18th 
December 1762, Janet Bell (of Dumfries), who died 1st Oct. 
1819. He was born in 1729, and died 27th August 1785. 
He had issue — 

John, born 9th March 1764. 

James, resident in Prestonpans, married (1793) Elizabeth 
Hodge (of Anstruther Easter) ; was born 7th January 
1766, and died I7th June 1834, leaving issue — John, 
born 1798, died 1843; William, afterwards Sir 
William Fergusson, Bart, and Jean Bell, married 
Thomas Melville, and died 1834, leaving two children, 
who died unmarried. 

Robert, bom 1st July 1768. 

George, born 6th May 1770. 

Thomas, born 15th April 1773 ; married (22nd Sept. 1798) 
Jane Frances Waylett, and was lost at sea, leaving one 
son, Samuel Frederick Fergusson. 

Alexander, born 22nd March 1776. 

WiUiam, born 8th February 1778; died 26th December 
1861 ; Lieut.-General and Knight of the Order of St. 

Charles, born 24th February 1781. 

Jean, born 24th June 1783. 

On 23rd December 1672 James Fergusson, merchant, was 
made and admitted a burgess of Lochmaben, for his ample 


counsel and other good work done and promised ; and on 11th 
January 1788 James Fergusson, son of the late John Fergus- 
son, Avas received Burgess, Freeman, and Guild-brother of 
Lochmaben, and gave his oath of fidelity to our Sovereign 
Lord the King and the Burgh. The following is the Latin 
text of the Ticket of 1672 :— 


SSrd Deer. 1672. 

Apud Lochmaben vigesimo tertio die mensis Decembris anno Domini 
millesimo sexeentesimo septiiagesimo secundo. Quo die Jacobus Fergusone, 
mercator, jactus et admissus est burgensis dicti burgi pro suis ampleo con- 
silio et aliis bene meritis inpensis et impendendis Qui juravit fidelitatem 
d n et dicti burgi. 

Extractus de libris consilii dicte burgi per me cl£ericum ejusdem sub- 
scriben(tem). Will. Murray, Claericus. 

— {Burgess Tickets among Spitalhaiigh Papers.) 



One or two notices occur of Ferguson families in other parts 
of Scotland. There seem to have been one or two burgess 
families of the name in Edinburgh. In 1577 John Ferguson, 
burgess of Edinburgh, was surety for the conduct of mer- 
chants in Chester. In 1609, the Privy Council being 'in- 
formed that there are some coffers and kistis pertaning to 
certane jesuitis and trafficking papistis' in the house of 
Andro Ferguson in the Canongait, gave orders for their 
transportation to the Palace of Holyrood, and for their being 
opened there. A family connected with Ayrshire seems to 
have had its dwelling-place at Canonmills. In 1611 Robert 
Ferguson was served heir of Janet AYilson, his mother, relict 
of the late Cuthbert Ferguson, incolce vici Canonicorwin. In 
1661 Andrew Ferguson in Pinmor succeeded to John Fergu- 
son in Canonmills, bis brother ; and in 1662 Gilbert Fergus- 
son, eldest son of Thomas Fergusson in Carrick, was served 
heir of John Fergusson in Cannonmylnes patrui immediati 
senioris. In 1584 there was a James Fergusson, burgess in 
Edinburgh. In 1646 Wi\lisim.¥eYgnsson,vestiariushurgensis 
of Edinburgh, was served heir of David, his father, also a 
vestiariiis hurgensis. In 1679 George Ferguson, dweller at 
the Water of Leith, was heir of William Ferguson, vestiarii 
hurgensis of Edinburgh, son of the brother of his grandfather ; 
and in 1678 WilHam Ferguson, son of Mr. William, was served 
heir of Thomas Ferguson, son of the said William Ferguson, 
his brother. 

In 1605 there Avas confirmed a charter by which Robert 
Logan of Restalrig granted in feu to John Ferguson, son of 


the late Andrew Ferguson in Restalrig, and Elizabeth Bicker- 
ton, his affianced spouse, four hovatas terrarum ville de Res- 
talrig cum niansionihus {prius per dictitui And. tunc per 
Geo. F. ejus fratrem occupatas), in the barony of Restalrig, 
county of Edinburgh. 

In 1664 Archibald Ferguson was served heir of James Fer- 
guson, merchant in Haddington, his brother. In 1621 Robert 
Ferguson and Janet Ferguson were served as heirs of John 
Irving, burgess of Perth, uncle of John's mother, and of Janet 
herself; and in 1617 letters of remission were granted to 
Adam Somervell, burgess of Renfrew, for the slaying of Robert 
Ferguson, burgess of Renfrew, in the month of May, or about 
that time, in 1590. 

In 1633 Samuel Fergusson, eldest lawful son of the late 
Robert Fergusson, Clerk of the Commissariot of Lorn, was 
served heir of Mary Fergusson, his sister; and in 1696 Alex- 
ander Fergusson was served heir of James Fergusson, eldest 
lawful son of the late Donald Fergusson in Pittendrymie. 

There was also a family of the name in Ross-shire, who 
first appear as burgesses of Tain, and in the seventeenth cen- 
tury were proprietors of the estate of Balblair. 

In 1578 William Fergusson, surgeon, appears witnessing a deed 
at the Chanonry of Ross. 

Thomas Fergusson in Tain is mentioned in 1584. 

DaAdd Fergusson, merchant (Tain ?) appears as taking part in a 
foray with broken men, kin of George Ross of Balnagoun, in 1594 
(1592 ?). 

1599. 5th May. Caution, £500, given for, and by, John Fer- 
gusson, burgess of Tain, not to harm David Urquhart of Inver- 

April 25, 1643. Margaret Forrester, Baseta Forrester, and John 
Urquhart, son of Henry Urquhart in Bellacherrie, were served 
heirs-portioners of John Ferguson, younger legitimate son of the 
late John Ferguson, burgess of Tain, their uncle, in terris de Bal- 
hlaire cum brasina et crofta ejtisdem. 

Jan. 15, 1658. Basie Fergusone, Margaret Forrester, John and 
Grisell Urquharts, sister, sister's children of Mr. John Fergusone, 
younger, were served as heirs-portioners in the town and lands of 


Balblair, with the Ailhous and Ailhouse crofts within the Abbacie 
of Feme, new barronie of Gaynes, paroche of Tarbit. 

In Deiichar's ms. Collections there are references, mainly 
taken from the Testamentary Records, to the following : — 

James Ferguson in Cousland (1620) ; George Ferguson, His 
Majesty's Trumpeter (1636); Archibald Ferguson in Tan- 
tallon (1637) ; WiUiam Fergusson, Craiglockhart (1678) ; John 
Ferguson of Dulquhathead (158f ) ; David Ferguson of Mill- 
damis (1656, Fife ?); David Ferguson in Bracklauch (1628); 
John Ferguson in Ballachneil (1633) ; John Ferguson in Pol- 
lockshaws (1633) ; Gilbert Ferguson in Knockermite (1635) ; 
Thomas Ferguson in Craigantoun (1631); William Ferguson 
in Ferdinrock (1631) ; Robert Ferguson of Garnakston (1666) ; 
Thomas Fergusson in Barbour (1627) ; WiUiam Ferguson in 
Methil (1603); Robert Ferguson, Blackcraig; his wife, Mar- 
garet Bryce, and his son Patrick, in 1606. The Register of 
Sasines for Argyllshire shoAvs a Daniel Ferguson of Glen- 
shellert (?) in 1774; and an Andrew Ferguson of Dyke, near 
Slamannan, had a laAvsuit Avith another of the same name 
in 1794 

The foUoAving notices of other ministers of the name are 
taken from Scott's Fasti Scoticance Ecclesice: — 

Drymen (Dumharton). 
1648. Alan Ferguson, A.M., trans, from Strathblane ; called 
31st August, and adm. 28th November. He took the side of 
the Revolution in 1651, and died of a loathsome and lingering 
disease in GlasgOAv, in April 1663, aged about 60. He had 
certain books estimat Avorth ij^ li. ; insicht, etc., ij^ li. Frie 
geir, dd. ix*^xhiij h. x.s. He married, 11th November 1638, 
Christiane NicoU ; secondly, Katherine Edmonstone, who died 
in February 1666, and had. a daughter, Mary. — [Presh. Edin. 
(Man.) a/iid. Test. Reg. (Glas.) ; Baillie's Letters ; WodroAv's 


1632. Alan Fergusson, grad. Gl. 1623, and on the exercise 
at Paisley, 14th December 1626 (helper) ; gave xxli. tOAA^ards 
erecting the Library in the said University ; Avas a member 


of Commissions of Ass., 1646, 1647 ; trans, to Drymen, 14th 
November 164^8.— [Mun. Un. Gl iii. ; Pres. Reg. ; Baillie's 
Letters] Acts of Ass.'] 

1843. Mnckhart (Kinross). Alex. Moorhead Ferguson. 

1849. Blairingone (Kinross). William Ferguson. 

1854. Fossaway (Kinross). William Ferguson. 

Whitburn {Linlithgow). 

1798. John Ferguson, schoolmaster of Inverary ; licens. by 
that Presb. 19th Sept. 1785, and ord. by them as chaplain to 
the 74th Foot, 19th Feb. 1788; pres. by David Stewart, Earl 
of Buchan, and adm. 1798. Died 14th Dec. 1835, in 77th 
age and 48th min. Married Enea Fisher, who died, 1st Dec. 
1858, in her 88th year, and had Angus, Duncan, William, 
John — his successor in the benefice — Archibald, Jessie, and 
Lilias. — [Pres. and Syn. Reg., etc.] 

1824. John F., jun., son of preceding, studied at Un. of 
Edin.; licen. by Pres. 24 Sept. 1823; pres. by Earl of Buchan to 
be ass. and succ. Dec. foL, and ord. 29 April 1824 ; deposed 
19th June 1838 ; went to Australia and engaged in agri- 
culture. — [Pres. and Syn. Reg., etc.] 

1843. St. David's (Edinburgh), q.s. Robert Ferguson, A.M. 

1855. Edgerstoun (Jedburgh), q.s. John Ferguson. 

Dolphinton (Biggar). 

1773. James Ferguson, a native of the parish ; stud, at 
Unit. Coll. and grad. St. And. 1763; lie. 20th Oct. 1768; 
pres. by Arch. Douglas of Douglas, Sept. 1772; ad. 7th April 
foil.; trans, to Pettinam, 22nd Feb. 1780.— [St. And. Un. and 
Presh. Reg. ; Neiu Stat. Ace. vi.] 

Pettinain {Lanark). 

1780. James Ferguson, A.M., trans, from Dolphinton; 
pres. by John, Earl of Hyndford, in 1779, and adm. 9th March 
foil; LL.D. St. And. 14th Sept. 1796; and died, 18 May 1803, 
in 57th age and 31st mm. ' Much esteemed for his literary 
abilities.' Publication — Account of the Parish {Old Stat. Ace. 
xii.). — [Presh. Reg. ; Tomhst.] 

2 F 


Tobermory {Mull). 

1828. Alexander Ferguson, teacher at Mountgerald ; lie. by 
Pres. of Dingwall, 1813; ad. 1817; missionary at Alva and 
Kilfinichen ; rem. to Salen and Tobermory, 1824 ; pres. to 
this charge by George iv., 1828; died, 4th June 1833, aged 44, 
in 16th min. — [Pres, Reg., etc.] 

Kilmaglass, (now) Strachur, and Stralachlan (Dunoon). 

1827. James Ferguson, lie. St. Andrews, 1803 ; ad. Dun- 
keld, 1807, as missionary at Rannoch; pres. by Rob. 
Maclachlan of Maclachlan in Sept. 1826, and adm. 22 
Feb. foil.; died, 7th March 1847, in 74th age and 41st 
min.; married, I7th Nov. 1829, Margaret, daughter of Mr. 
Charles Douglas, merchant, Perth. Publication — Account 
of the Parish (New Stat. Ace. vii.). — [Presh. Reg., etc.] 

Kilninver and Kilmelfort (Lorn). 

1838. John Ferguson, trans, from St. Stephen's, Perth ; 
pres. by John, Marquis of Breadalbane, and adm. (ass. and 
succ), 1837 and 1838; died, Oct. 1841, in 7th min. Pub- 
lication — Account of Parish (New Stat. Ace. vii.). — [Presh. 

1847. Bower (Caithness). John Fergus. 



The old Irish pedigrees, in common with Scottish tradition, 
attribute to the race of Ferguson a descent from the ancient 
royal house of Ireland and of Scotland. They, however, 
deduce the Irish clan from the uncle of the Fergus who 
founded the Scottish monarchy of Scotland. 

In Hart's Irish Pedigrees, ' the stem of the " Ferguson " 
family ' is thus given : — 

' Fearghus, a son of Eoghan, who is No. 88 on the O'Neill 
(of Tyrone) pedigree, was the ancestor of MacFhearghusa — 
Anglicised MacFearghus, Fergus, and Ferguson. 

' 88. Eoghan, son of Niall Mor, the 126th monarch of 

89. Fearghus, his son. 

90. Aodh, his son. 

91. Laoghaire, his son. 

92. Forannan, his son. 

93. Fioghal, his son. 

94. Culena, his son. 

95. Fearghus, his son. 

96. Cinaedh, his son. 

97. Maolcaoch, his son. 

98. Branagan, his son. 

99. Maolpadraic, his son. 

100. Ceallach, his son. 

101. Maolcomghal, his son. 

102. Colgan, his son. 

103. Ceallach, his son. 

104. Mathghamhan, his son. 

105. Fearghus (" fear," Irish, a man ; " gus," strength), 

his son ; a quo MacFhearghusa. 

106. Aodh MacFhearghusa, his son.' 


The Irish pedigrees make Fergus Mor Mac Earca, the con- 
queror of Scottish Dah'iada, a brother of Murchertach or 
Murtogh Mor Mac Earca, the 131st monarch of Ireland, and 
son of Muredach, son of Eoghan, from whom the Ferguson 
stem is traced, and who was son of Niall Mor, or Niall of the 
Nine Hostages, the 126th monarch. The first Fearghus of 
the stem would therefore be the uncle of the Scottish King. 

The Hy-Niall Septs (of Ulster, Meath, and Connaught) 
included not only those descended from Niall of the Nine 
Hostages, but others descended from his father, Eochy 
Moyrane, the 124th monarch. Among these were the Hy 
Fiathrach, descended from Fiathrach, brother of Niall Mor ; 
and among the families of the Hy Fiathrach is first men- 
tioned the Clann Fhearghus or Fergus. In the Tir-owen 
district of Ulster, which took its name from Eoghan, the son 
of NiaU Mor, there are included (by Hart, in narrating the 
principal families of Ulster) among 'the Irish chiefs and 
clans,' as No. 14 of these, ' O'Cooney, and O'Bailey (Bayly or 
Bailie), chief of Clan Fergus'; and in the Brefney district 
are included as a clan in the county Lei trim, ' MacFerghus, 
who were hereditary erenachs of the churches of Rossinver, 
and whose name has been Anglicised " Ferguson." ' 

' Many representative families of the name/ says Logan in 
the Scottish Gael, ' are found in Antrim and the counties 
which formed the ancient Dalriada.' But, as in other cases 
in Ireland, the name denotes both an ancient Irish sept and 
a stock of sturdy Ulstermen who trace their descent to the 
Scottish settlers of the seventeenth century. As there was a 
native Irish race, the hereditary bards of the O'Neills, whose 
name, O'Gnieve, has been Anglicised as Agnew, in the same 
form which the old Norman Agneau assumed in Scotland, 
while the Scottish house of Lochnaw and its cadets also 
acquired broad lands in Ulster, so that it can hardly be 
affirmed whether the Celt or the Norman gave its name to 
Agnew's Mountain, which on a clear day can be discerned 
from the shores of Galloway. So likewise the Irish Fergusons 
consist of the descendants of the old native clans and of 
representatives of those who shared in King James's planta- 
tion of Ulster, or came over in the army which the Scottish 


Estates sent to the aid of their fellow-Protestants in the 
troubled times of the Great Rebellion. 

' The Fergussons, Baronets of Farm, Tyrone/ it has been 
said, 'went there from Scotland 280 years ago,' and the 
family of Fourmileburn in Antrim also represent settlers from 
Scotland. These families carry the boars' heads and buckle 
as their ensigns armorial, but a coat closely resembling that 
of Craigdarroch is depicted in an Irish work of authority as 
that of ' the ancient and honourable family of the Feargusons.' 

The Ferguson families of the north who came from Scot- 
land early in the seventeenth century believed themselves to 
be of the Clan Mhic Fhearghuis of Athole. Their crest and 
motto, however, rather suggest a descent from the house of 
Kilkerran in Ayrshire; and a document of 1668 clearly shows 
a financial, and thus suggests a family, connection Avith the 
ancient Dumfriesshire stock of Craigdarroch. There was a 
constant intercourse between the south-west of Scotland and 
the north of Ireland in the seventeenth century, and as the 
Fergusons are found appearing in Ulster along with Agnews, 
Adairs, and other well-known names from Galloway and 
Carrick, the probability is that those who sought their 
fortunes in Ireland at that time were offshoots of the two 
chief Ferguson families of southern Scotland. We now 
proceed to give — 

1. A sketch of the Fergusons in Ireland, communicated 

from Dublin by Miss Paterson. 

2. A short notice of a distinguished soldier of the race, 

also communicated by Miss Paterson, his grandniece. 

3. A short notice of Sir Samuel Ferguson, the distinguished 

poet and antiquary, contributed by his widow. Lady 

4. A more detailed genealogy of the family of Scottish 

descent from which Sir Samuel Ferguson was 

5. Notice of Fergusons of Burt House and the Farm. 

6. Short notices of other Irish Fergusons. 



(Contributed by Miss D. M. A. Paterson, Dublin.) 

The government of James i. passed an act in 1605 to 
encourage Scottish and English gentlemen to buy land in 
the province of Ulster, and settle there in order to drive out 
the ancient Irish.^ 

The names of the original holders of land under this act 
are preserved in the Carew manuscripts. 

Many of the younger sons of the nobles and Scottish 
families availed themselves of this opportunity of improving 
their fortunes,^ and there are to be found among these names 
the following ; Heron, Hamilton, Douglass, Hepburn, Stewart, 
and Drummond. The name Ferguson does not occur in 
these manuscripts ; but as it is a family tradition of long 
standing that the first of the Fergusons came over at this 
time, we believe that they came in the train of some family 
more powerful than themselves, and received land on tenure, 
or in return for services rendered to the original holders. 

In 1641 a number of Scottish gentlemen came over as 
officers with the army that Charles i. collected,^ and among 
the names are those of Ferguson, Gilliland, Agnew, Adair, 
and Baird. The Owens and Williamsons came later, pro- 
bably in the reign of William iii. 

It does not seem (so far as I have been able to ascertain) 
that the Fergusons, from whom the family in Ireland claim 
descent, had any connection with Ireland earlier than the 
sixteenth century. There is an old paper,* bearing date of 
1660, in which it is stated that an Edward Ferguson paid a 
subsidy on land to the value of £1, 12d., and that in 1666 a 
James Ferguson owned the estate of Muckamore, co. Antrim, 
and had to pay a subsidy of £5. In the Record Office, 
Dublin, there is the will of a James Ferguson of Muckamore, 

^ History of Ireland, by C. G. Walpole. 2 mdem. 

' Ibidem, and an historical note of the parish of Donegore, co. Antrim, 
published in Belfast in 1882. 

*■ Notes from mss. by Sir S. Ferguson, copied from papers in Record OflBce, 
in possession of Lady Ferguson. 


proved 1672, dated 1668,i presumably the same as above, in 
which, after it duly sets forth all the testator's bequests, etc., 
there is an addition or codicil signed by the testator as 
follows : — 

'It[em] dewe to the defunk, ane bond in Scotland by 
Robert Fergussone (ffergussonne), laird of Craigdarroch, of 
five hundereth merks muny of Scotland, whereof dispossed 
by the defunk two hundereth merks Scots muny, videz. : to 
Captaine Edward ffergussonne, on hundereth merks Scots 
muny, and to his sone, John Fergussonne, fiftie merks Scots 
muny. It[em] for his brother dochter, fortie merks Scots 
muny. his 

' James X / ffergussonne.' 


This is the only reference made directly to a Scottish Fergu- 
son by the Irish branch of the same family that is known of; 
if the ' Laird of Craigdarroch' ^ can be identified, it is pro- 
bable that the Scottish branch from which the Irish family 
sprang can be determined. 

According to family tradition,^ the first of the Fergusons 
to come over were from Ayrshire, and although in early ages 
before the Christian era there are leofends of kino-s of Ire- 
land who bore the name Fergus, the present holders of the 
name seem to be of pure Scottish descent. Sir S. Ferguson ^ 
has in his poems one on the legend of ' King Fergus AVrye- 
mouth,' Avho was such a good king, that when his face sud- 
denly became distorted,^ his people all conspired to keep the 
news from him. How they succeeded, and the way he became 
cured, are the burden of the poem. 

Also in the ' Legend of the sons of Usnach,' the nobleman 
under whose safe-conduct they travel, is named Fergus, and 
he is a knight of the Red Branch,^ a famous band of warriors 
whose fame has been carried down to us by the bards. 

^ Ibidem. 

2 A Robert Fergusson appears ,in the pedigree of the Craigdarroch family 
at a date corresponding, and was father of the Laird of Craigdarroch who fell 
at Killiecrankie. ^ Family recollections. 

^ Poems of Sir S. Ferguson, and Irish history. 

^ Any physical deformity, according to the views of the age, was a dis- 
qualification for the kingly office. 

6 Poems of Sir S. Ferguson, and Irish history. 


These details are of course very uncertain, as they refer to 
the mythical portion of Irish history. 

Cromwell, when engaged in subduing the Irish, narrowly 
escaped coming into collision with the Presbyterians of 
Ulster.^ He actually drew up and signed a list of names of 
gentlemen who, for their loyalty, were to be transported to 
Connaught, and their property confiscated as a punishment. 
One of the names is Lieutenant Robert Ferguson of Four- 

This Fourmileburn seems to have been the home of the 
Fergusons for many generations ; it is situated in the valley 
of the Sixmilewater river, near the eastern shore of Lough 
Neagh. From the Robert Ferguson of Cromwell's day, we 
have no reliable information as to the names of the represen- 
tatives of the family, or their places of residence, but in the 
earlier part of the eighteenth century, a John Ferguson of 
Fourmileburn married an Ellen Gilliland, circa 1750.^ They 
had three sons, John, Samuel, and Hugh. The eldest, John, 
inherited Fourmileburn, and had two sons ; from the second 
son, Henry, the Fergusons of Belfast are descended, also the 
sons of the late Francis Ferguson of Glasgow. In a letter 
to Sir S. Ferguson in 1880, the late Dr. Henry Ferguson 
speaks of the old mansion-house of Fourmileburn, at which 
he remembered hearing his great-grandfather lived, so it 
seems as though there was no doubt the family had been 
seated there from the days of Cromwell. 

The second son of John the elder was Samuel of Standing- 
stone and Belfast. He was a merchant, and died in 1793 ;^ 
married an Owens, and had six sons and one daughter. He 
left separate estates to each of his six sons at his death ; and 
from the second of these sons, John, the families of Conway 
Grimshaw Ferguson of New York, and Sir Samuel Ferguson, 
are descended. 

From the third son of Samuel of Standingstone, Thomas 
Ferguson of Tildarg, co. Antrim,* are descended William 
John Ferguson and his son Thomas, who resides in Italy, 

^ Historical notice of parish of Donegore, co. Antrim. 

2 Family mss. ^ Wills in Record Oflace, Dublin. 

•* Family mss. and Recollections of Lady Ferguson. 


and William John, who married Miss A. Agnew, and has 

The third son of the old John of Fourmileburn (Hugh), 
seems to have settled at Drumcondra, co. Dublin.^ William 
Bates Ferguson, barrister-at-law in London, is descended from 
this Hugh, who was his great-grandfather. The immediate pro- 
genitor of Sir S. Ferguson Avas John Ferguson of Ballinderry. 
He married Miss Agnes Knox, an Irish lady. On his death 
in 1845 his wife went to live Avith her youngest son, then 
practising as a barrister ; she died at his house in 1861. 

John Ferguson,- the second son of the John of Ballinderry, 
went to South America, and was near Caracas when his eldest 
brother. Colonel William Owens Ferguson,^ was killed. He 
was sent for by Bolivar, who gave into his hand Colonel Fer- 
guson's medals, orders, etc. ; ^ he also had the painful task of 
breaking the news to his brother's fiancee, a Spanish lady 
of Irish descent. John Ferguson returned to Ireland, and 
married a Miss O'Donnell of Belfast, a descendant of the old 
princes of Tyrconnell. He was British Consul ^ at Venezuela 
for some time, but later he returned to Ireland again, and 
finally settled in Liverpool, where (his first wife having died, 
leaving him seven children), he married a second time, a 
lady of Spanish family, by whom he had two children, a son 
and a daughter. 

Collaterals. — Of his four sons by his first wife, the three 
elder are dead — one only having married, and leaving no issue 
— the fourth, Conway Grimshaw Ferguson, lives at present 
in New York. He and his little son, born 1887, are the only 
representatives of this branch, with the exception of the son, 
Francis Samuel, of the second wife, who lives in Liverpool 
with his mother. 

The four daughters, Mary, Matilda, Margaret, and Rosita 
married respectively Wilfred Haughton, Warham Boston 
(deceased), Thomas Paterson, and John Owen.